On Wednesday, lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center who were concerned that the action would affect the project’s clients sent out an email calling for lawyers who could volunteer immediately to go to airports where refugees were scheduled to enter the United States.
“It occurred to us that there were going to be people who were traveling who would land and have their status affected while in midair,” said Betsy Fisher, the group’s policy director.
Even before President Trump issued an order on Friday banning immediate entry into the United States by people from several predominantly Muslim countries, immigration lawyers, having heard rumors of coming action from the White House, were on alert.
While lawyers gathered at airports on Saturday, others were working furiously on litigation. Cecillia Wang, the A.C.L.U.’s deputy legal director, described the scene at her office as “complete chaos.”