The Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York Opposes President Trump's Executive Order Banning Travel by Individuals from Seven Muslim-Majority Countries

New York, NY -- February 1, 2017.  The Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) opposes President Donald Trump's January 27, 2017 Executive Order. The Executive Order bans individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) from traveling to the United States and halts the issuance of visas from those seven countries.  See the Executive Order.  The executive order also suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. The travel ban will be in effect for a period of at least 90 days (i.e., through April 27, 2017) and the Refugee Admissions Program will be suspended for at least 120 days (i.e., through May 27, 2017).  In addition to the direct and immediate effect on refugees, the executive order affects non-immigrant visa holders, permanent residents and dual nationals from the specified countries.   

The legality of the Executive Order has and continues to be challenged.  In response to an emergency appeal from the American Civil Liberties Union, United States District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York has ruled that implementation of the Executive Order as to refugees and detainees at airports across the United States would cause them “irreparable harm.”  Judge Donnelly issued a temporary order which “enjoined and restrained from, in any manner and by any means, removing individuals” who had arrived in the United States with valid visas or refugee status.  Notwithstanding this ruling, many affected individuals have physically entered the United States, but been denied admission by United States Customs and Border Protection personnel. They therefore have returned to their countries of origin, which in some cases means facing imminent danger, or remain stranded at airports across the United States.  

KALAGNY's President, Bridgette Y. Ahn stated the following: "We are an immigrant nation, and our country's prosperity is inextricably linked with the long history of our immigrants' contributions as Americans. When we lose sight of that reality and exclude nationalities, we are working against ourselves and against this country’s values. While national security requires vigilance, restricting entry into our borders through hastily drafted, overbroad, and unconstitutional mandates does little but undermine the very ideals for which Americans have fought and worked.  We must do our best to uphold our constitution's protections, so that those protections are available to all of us in an uncertain future."  

KALAGNY thanks the immigration bar and non-profit organizations, which have responded quickly and worked tirelessly to provide solutions through our justice system in the wake of the executive order.  KALAGNY urges its membership to provide assistance to the immigration bar and to the affected individuals through various means, including through legal assistance and public discourse.

KALAGNY congratulates its members for developing and honing professional skills useful for assisting the immigrant and underserved communities.  KALAGNY is currently preparing a course devoted to filing Writ of Habeas Corpus petitions, which may be used to challenge wrongful or improper imprisonment or detention. Please indicate your interest in a training devoted to filing a Writ of Habeas Corpus petition here, or e-mail KALAGNY's board member and Immigration Committee Chair, Eve Guillergan, at for information.

In addition, we also understand that the following two groups have expressed desire for pro bono help.  

The following have indicated a need for assistance in representing children in immigration matters.

  • Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) (contact Nirupa L. Narayan,,; 

KALAGNY has not independently reviewed the above organizations and cannot endorse them, but provide the above as a public service.

KALAGNY also holds monthly pro bono clinics on the first Tuesday of every month, in Manhattan and Flushing, Queens, and all of our members and friends are encouraged to volunteer or learn more about the same on our website. See here.  

The Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) is a professional membership organization of attorneys and law students concerned about issues affecting the Korean American community in greater New York. Incorporated in 1986, KALAGNY seeks to encourage the professional growth of its members as well as provide legal support for the Korean American community.

To achieve these goals, KALAGNY provides its members with training and resources useful for professional advancement; expands access by Korean Americans in greater New York to legal services and education; and provides a forum for the expression of opinions concerning social, political, economic, legal and other issues of concern to our members.

To learn more about KALAGNY, visit or contact Bridgette Y. Ahn, the President of KALAGNY, at


KALAGNY Officers

Bridgette Ahn, President
Eun Chong (EJ) Thorsen, Executive VP
Karen Kim, VP of Memberships
Iris Jun, Treasurer
Jay H. Min, Secretary

KALAGNY Governors

Dan Cho
Eve Cho Guillergan
Edward Lee
Gene Kang
J. John Kim
Yosef Lee
Chul Pak
Maria Park
Suyon Yi
Kenneth K. Yoon

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