A Seattle immigration attorney says we shouldn’t take the president’s plans to issue a new executive order on immigration lightly.
Joel Paget, an attorney with Ryan Swanson, told KIRO Radio’s Ron and Don that people have been reaching out to law firms to discuss what the immigration orders mean, even if they don’t have a reason to be worried.
“They’re just worried about status and travel and friends and family,” he said. He added that it is an uncertain time for many. “They want to do as much as they can to make sure they don’t have any harm coming their way.”
After his first attempt at a travel ban was thwarted, President Donald Trump announced Thursday he will issue a new executive order on immigration next week.
“We’re issuing a new executive action next week that will comprehensively protect our country,” Trump said.
Solicitor General for the Washington State Attorney General’s Office Noah Purcell said what Trump means is up for interpretation.
“It’s unclear exactly what they mean to do,” he said. “But they seem to be saying they don’t want the Ninth Circuit [court of appeals] to review this right now, but they still plan to defend the order in trial court.”
Purcell was referring to Trump’s original order, which placed a travel ban on seven predominantly Muslim countries and refugees, but was halted by a lawsuit upheld by a Seattle judge and the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The decision came in a lawsuit brought by the state of Washington, which said the ban unconstitutionally blocked entry on the basis of religion and harmed their residents, universities and sales tax revenue. Judges also rejected the federal government’s argument that courts do not have the authority to review the president’s immigration and national security decisions.
Though we likely won’t know what the new order will contain until it is issued, Trump has said it won’t be too different than the original. And, as the Washington Post points out, it could include new “vetting measures for travelers.”
Paget told Ron and Don the Trump administration could broaden the original order, making it look like it isn’t targeting religion. Adding more countries to a travel ban due to terrorism concerns, instead of religious concerns, could give the order a “better basis” to get around a temporary restraining order.
As the country awaits the next immigration order from the Trump administration, a memo obtained by The Associated Press reportedly shows the administration was considering a proposal to mobilize National Guard troopers and round up unauthorized immigrants. Those roundups were, according to the AP, considered as far north as Portland, Ore.
Last week, ICE officers arrested more than 680 people around the country in what Kelly said were routine, targeted operations; advocates called the actions stepped-up enforcement under Trump.
Prior to news of the memo breaking, Paget told Ron and Don he doesn’t expect large-scale raids to take place. Nevertheless, he said the country shouldn’t rule them out completely.
Listen to the entire conversation with Paget below.