While reform of what many see as a broken immigration system has been a political football tossed from both sides of the aisle, last year’s presidential campaign put the issue front and center. Since the election of President Donald Trump, promises he made on the campaign trail have quickly turned into presidential action. And that has led many law students to take action of their own. Prompted by these policies, law students launched a new group in November, Stanford Advocates for Immigrants’ Rights (SAIR).
“After the election, a lot of us reached out to Jayashri and Lisa, who run the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic, and Jayashri brought us all together, saying that we should have a meeting and figure out what can be done,” says Haley Millner, JD ’18. “We hadn’t really united as students interested in immigrants’ rights issues before that moment.”
“President Trump’s executive orders span a broad range of activity,” says Jayashri Srikantiah, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic and SAIR faculty mentor. She explains that there are three executive orders concerning immigrants. The first is the travel ban, also known as the Muslim ban; the second involves border enforcement, which covers refugees and asylum seekers and others who are trying to enter the U.S.; and the third concerns interior enforcement policies governing who’s already here and how Immigration and Customs Enforcement should treat those individuals.
“We’ve heard stories of people not going to medical clinics. We’ve heard domestic violence survivors expressing reluctance to report what’s happening to them and anxiety about getting temporary restraining orders. So there are very real consequences to the interior enforcement executive order,” says Srikantiah.Read More