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Federal judge blocks order limiting legal aid to immigrants

[JURIST] The US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] on Wednesday granted [order, PDF] a temporary restraining order to allow legal aid groups to continue to provide certain kinds of assistance to undocumented immigrants. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) [advocacy website] filed NWIRP v. Sessions [case summary] after being informed by the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) they could no longer provide legal advice to individuals unless they offered full representation of the clients. NWIRP argued the EOIR enforcement would leave them unable to assist the immigrates as there were too many to provide full representation for. The group had previously agreed to inform the court if they worked on a case in any capacity by including a note on all documents they had assisted with.

The Court finds that NWIRP met its burden to show that it is immediately and irreparably harmed, and will continue to be so harmed, as a result of EOIR's enforcement ... against NWIRP attorneys ... These harms are significant and ongoing, and the Court therefore finds that entering this TRO against the Government is necessary to maintain the status quo until such time as the Court may hear and decide the matter of a preliminary injunction.
NWIRP stated [press release] they are pleased with the ruling.

Immigration legal issues continue in the judicial systems. The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard [JURIST report] arguments Monday on the Trump administration's revised ban on travelers coming into the US from selected majority Muslim countries. The US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan [official website] on Thursday ordered [JURIST report] the Trump administration to disclose the draft of the so-called "Muslim ban" executive order. Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed [JURIST report] into law a bill [SB 4, text] last Sunday banning so-called "sanctuary cities" in the state.

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