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Michigan immigration attorney: “It’s hard to know what’s happening at the border”

Lyse Messmer
Michigan Radio
Protesters at Detroit Metro Airport on Sunday

President Trump today said he was right to ban people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

He tweeted the following:

Yet Friday’s executive order resulted in a second straight weekend of protests across the country against the president.

Susan Reed, managing attorney at the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, joined Stateside today to bring us the latest on Trump’s immigration ban.

“I spent much of Saturday trying to develop legal education materials – warnings to people not to leave who might be innocently departing the U.S.” she said. “The Department of Homeland Security did say, and give quotes to the media on Saturday, that green card holders were banned from returning home, but then reversed that position late yesterday in part.”

"We really don't know what will be considered 'significant derogatory information' by this administration and so we are discouraging [green card holders] from the seven affected countries from travel at this time."

Reed said, the reversed position is not easy to decipher.

“[It] says that green card holders essentially will be allowed to return home to the U.S. absent ‘significant derogatory information,’ and that’s a quote,” she said. “We have no idea what that means.”

She said officials googled names and searched social media accounts in some border areas.

“We really don’t know what will be considered ‘significant derogatory information’ by this administration and so we are discouraging LPR’s [green card holders] from the seven affected countries from travel at this time,” she said.

The legality of the president’s executive order too is unclear.

Reed said both immigration-related executive orders issued by the president are “sort of a blend of actions the president may legally take and actions that are clearly unconstitutional or unable to be accomplished through executive order.”

For the full conversation, including Reed’s response to those who say this ban will make America safer than it is now, listen above. The conversation also includes details of Reed’s experience helping a physician from a rural Michigan county cross the U.S.-Canadian border this weekend.

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