US travel ban: Irish lawyer asks ‘Do you need legal help?’

Aoife Delargy Lowe among those offering assistance to immigrants at Dulles airport

Irish immigration attorney Aoife Delargy Lowe: “I was assigned to standing at the arrivals gate [at Dulles airport] saying ‘Do you need legal help?’ ”

Irish immigration attorney Aoife Delargy Lowe: “I was assigned to standing at the arrivals gate [at Dulles airport] saying ‘Do you need legal help?’ ”

 

Hundreds of lawyers turned up at Dulles airport, outside Washington DC, to offer legal help to arrivals affected by US president Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Among them was Irish immigration attorney Aoife Delargy Lowe, who had been attending a demonstration in Washington on Sunday when a friend told her she was going out to the airport.

“When we got there there were a lot of attorneys,” said Ms Delargy Lowe. “I was assigned to standing at the arrivals gate saying ‘Do you need legal help?’ ”

She said the co-ordinators at the airport gave them sheets to hand to immigrants asking whether any members of their family or anyone else had been declined entry to the US and whether they would be willing to take legal action.

Hundreds of attorneys were standing at the arrivals hall in the airport asking people whether they knew anyone who was affected, Ms Delargy Lowe said, adding: “It was really an amazing thing to be part of.”

Immigrant detention centre

She said reports existed of individuals being sent to an immigrant detention centre in Berks, Pennsylvania.

She added a number of lawyers at the airport did manage to make contact with people whose family members had been detained trying to enter the US.

Ms Delargy Lowe was born in the US but grew up and studied in Galway. Now she lives in Washington DC, where she works as a solo immigration attorney at Delargy Immigration PLLC.

She said she is struggling to believe the developments of the past couple of days. “I’m really devastated. I just hope that people don’t lose hope. We are trying to do everything we can to make an effective change to this.

“It’s hard. I can’t believe this is the reality we are living in. My parents immigrated to the United States in the 1980s. For so long America has been this place of hope for people and it is devastating to see this.”