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Immigration lawyers and nonprofits busy after executive order

Nearly a week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order limiting non-citizen travel, immigration lawyers and nonprofits are loaded with work.

Those on the forefront of the controversial executive action say clients are very fearful.

Lisa Koop is associate director of legal services at the National Immigrant Justice Center in Goshen.

She says lately she’s been working hard, finding answers for clients.

“There are certainly a lot of fear and anxiety among our clients and their community members,” Koop said.

Koop says after the order halting entry for non-citizens from seven countries, many clients at the Justice Center are afraid to travel, and fearful for family members who are abroad.

“We set up an email address for people who are affected by the most recent executive order to contact us if they’re stranded outside the United States or they have a family member who is or they’re contemplating travel,” Koop said.

Across county lines in South Bend, immigration lawyer Rudy Monterrosa has stacks of paperwork, and a list of new clients he doesn’t usually see, refugees and students.

“There are students who during their breaks when they’re in school do go back home, to their country then come back so they can continue their studies, so they’re concerned about their ability to travel,” Monterrosa said.

Monterrosa is facing a whole new set of legal questions after the executive order.

“It just has increased an awareness that if you haven’t legalized your status, you should do so now.” Monterrosa said.

Both Monterrosa and Koop say non-citizens should see advice and know the rules before traveling.

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