Last Friday, at 4:22 p.m., President Donald Trump signed an executive order banning Syrian refugees from entering the United States indefinitely, suspending all refugee admittance for 120 days and blocking citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days. The order immediately wreaked havoc on the United States immigration system and in airports at home and overseas, prompting protests worldwide. Although the order did not technically affect naturalized United States citizens from the seven aforementioned countries, in reality students, visitors and green-card-holding legal and permanent United States residents from the seven countries, as well as refugees from around the world, were stopped at airports in the United States and abroad, some blocked from entering the United States, and some sent back overseas.
But before the order was fully executed, lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center anticipated the chaos for their clients. Gearing up, the organization sent out an email on Wednesday summoning lawyers to volunteer at airports across the country where refugees were planning to enter the United States. The turnout? Outstanding. By early Sunday morning, the group said that there were lawyers offering services and advice at “most international airports in the United States.”
Attorneys from major law firms and nonprofits alike banned together, essentially taking over terminals in Kennedy International Airport, working late nights and early mornings to keep all people safe, regardless of whether they were their initial clients or not. While protesters with signs and spirit surround airports, lawyers have been filing actions and petitions day and night, helping detainees and their families, making an impact during this time of uncertainty in the way they know best.
Read the full story here (via the New York Times)
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Massoud Hassani was raised in Kabul, Afghanistan, and he knows that when a war comes to an end, and the troops move out, and a treaty is signed, it isn’t completely over. Often times, life-threatening landmines remain hidden and deadly, and locals are forced to live in fear of becoming one of the 10 innocent people who are killed every day by one of the 100 million landmines worldwide. To solve this problem, Hassani and his brother Mahmoud created the Mine Kafon Drone. The drone uses a 3D mapping system in tandem with GPS to quickly scan the landscape for landmines. Once one is located, the drone releases a small device on the landmine to detonate it. They believe their drones can “clear all landmines around the world in less than 10 years.” (via GOOD)
Photo: Next City
US Post Offices are becoming obselete, with demand lowering and locations closing each year. But three students at Washington University saw this as an opportunity. Post offices can remain relevant in an increasingly digital world by supplying delivery and logistics for one of Los Angeles’ most critical needs: food insecurity. Their proposal, First Class Meal, combines USPS’s abilities to address the needs of food banks and other organizations battling urban hunger. Namely, despite there being no scarcity of wasted food in and around L.A., organizations still struggle to pick up donations, store them and distribute to people in need. The proposal would see the USPS connect with interested organizations, and postal drivers out on their normal routes would pick up donations of food, deliver them to food banks or pantries, and store food in post offices with excess capacity. (via Next City)