By Carys Golesworthy, JD ’17
The 3rd floor wing of Wasserstein Hall that houses the Harvard Law School Immigration and Refugee Clinic is often a hub of activity. But last Friday, it was packed to capacity. Students perched on the arms of couches, crowded in corners, and angled for space around a small table. The call had gone out looking for students to help the ACLU with litigation research related to President Trump’s recent Executive Order restricting entry to the United States — and students responded in force. By Friday evening the group had grown to over fifty students. The students would spend their weekend conducting legal research to assist the ACLU in the ongoing case of Darweesh v. Trump, which challenges the Trump Administration’s Muslim ban.
In that case, the ACLU represents lead plaintiffs Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, Iraqi men who were detained after arriving at JFK Airport in New York City on January 27. The ACLU filed suit against the President on behalf of these men and a nationwide class of similarly situated individuals, seeking habeas relief and declaratory and injunctive relief.