Columbia Law School Community Responds to Executive Order

After President Donald Trump signed his January 27 executive order prohibiting citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering into the United States, the global legal community led the charge to defend, help, and protect the individuals affected by the policy changes. Columbia Law School threw its weight into this effort, as was evidenced by all of the events, discussions, and activity on campus this week. Below is a sampling of the work by our faculty members, students, staff, and alumni.


Tuesday, January 31

“The Immigration Executive Orders: What We Know and What’s Next”

Vice Dean Olatunde Johnson, Samuel Rubin Visiting Professor of Law Cristina Rodriguez, and Human Rights Institute Fellow Waleed Alhariri discussed the effects of President Trump’s executive orders on immigration as part of the Law School’s Lawyers, Community and Impact series. Johnson, the Jerome B. Sherman Professor of Law, teaches legislation and civil procedure and writes about modern civil rights legislation, congressional power, and innovations to address discrimination and inequality in the United States. Rodriquez, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, is an expert in immigration law and policy. Alhariri, originally from Yemen, leads the New York office of the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies. “You have to be on a one-on-one level to understand what refugees go through,” he said at the event. “Every person has a moral responsibility to change the narrative. We need to learn about their communities too.”

Thursday, February 2

University Life Forum: “Executive Orders, Immigration and Our Community”

Columbia’s Office of University Life hosted a discussion in the Low Library Rotunda on how recent executive orders will affect the University community. Columbia Law School Professors Suzanne Goldberg and David Pozen, along with Visiting Professor Rose Villazor, joined a panel of experts to explore what the immigration executive orders really mean, the scope of presidential power on immigration, and regional and global perspectives on the executive orders. The experts also discussed the services the University can provide to those affected by the new policies.

You can watch video from the event here:

Friday, February 3

“Rights and Resilience: Responding to the Executive Order on Immigration”

CLS graduate Naz Ahmad ’14, who works as a staff attorney at the Creating Law Enforcement Accountability and Responsibility (CLEAR) project, is set to join graduate students of Columbia’s Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies, and the International Students’ Working Group of the Graduate Workers Union to discuss institutional, legal, and practical considerations in light of the recent executive order on immigration. The event, to be held in Jerome Greene Hall Friday night, is co-sponsored by the Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.


Research and Commentary

Trump Human Rights Tracker Launched by Columbia Law Human Rights Organizations

Columbia Law School Dean Gillian Lester Condems Immigration Ban

Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger '71 Speaks Out On Executive Order on Refugee and Immigration Policy


Harcourt Victory

Professor Bernard E. Harcourt was one of three lawyers who filed suit against President Trump when Syrian-born, Chicago-based doctor Amer Al Homssi had his visa revoked at the airport after agents saw a Muslim prayer app on his phone. On Wednesday, Harcourt and the legal team negotiated for Al Homssi’s return, and he returned to Chicago Thursday afternoon. According to The New Yorker, which covered the story, Al Homssi’s case will be back in court next week, when the legal team is planning to “finalize a settlement that will permit him to stay in the U.S. so that he can complete his residency.” You can read The New Yorker piece here.



Posted February 3, 2017