One of the challenges to the #MuslimBan 2.0 is pending in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. A group of 302 lawyers across 25 airports signed on to an amicus brief ("friend of the court") to detail the chaos and due process violations that occurred in the wake of the first Muslim ban in January.
Along with my colleagues across the country, we jumped at the chance to swear out declarations to shed light on what happened at airports around the country (and some internationally) for the benefit of the learned appellate judges.
Besides the obvious chaos, here's just some of what my colleagues saw around the country:
- Widespread denial of access to counsel in nearly every airport.
- Widespread reports of CBP officials caught completely unprepared with the order, and having no idea what to do.
- Outright defiance of federal court orders (deporting a student after judge's temporary restraining order; not allowing access to counsel even when ordered to by judge)
- Lawyers reporting specific laws they could have used to reduce detention times and facilitate processing - ie, *helping* CBP officials to their jobs - but were denied the opportunity to do so.
As signatory amici to the court, we wrote to the Fourth Circuit:
We are 302 lawyers across 25 airports who witnessed firsthand the extreme disorder and chaos engendered by President Trump's initial travel ban at major airports across the country and the world. We write collectively to express our serious concerns regarding the second travel ban currently before the Court. The impact of these bans extends beyond the individual travelers and their families and communities. We expect that a second travel ban would follow in the footsteps of the first to 1) inappropriately interfere with the attorney-client relationship and 2) compromise our ability to advocate for our clients, with potentially severe and irreversible consequences.