A small army of lawyers and civil rights activists are gearing up for potential chaos and instances of denied entry into the U.S. Thursday night, when much of President Donald Trump’s travel ban is due to take effect.
The New York Immigration Coalition, Amnesty International and Muslim Advocates are among the dozens of groups that are sending observers and attorneys to airports across the U.S. in anticipation of problems stemming from the ban.
But officials from the State Department said the widespread disturbances that followed the disorderly rollout of Trump’s initial travel ban in late January were far less likely this time around, explaining that anyone — even from any of the six countries affected by the ban — with a valid visa would be allowed entry.
“We expect business as usual at the ports of entry starting at 8:00 p.m. ET tonight,” a senior State Department official said, referring to the time when the ban kicks in.
“We expect things to run smoothly, and our people are well-prepared for this and they will handle the entry of people with visas professionally, respectfully, and responsibly, as they have always done, with an eye toward ensuring that the country is protected from persons looking to travel here to do harm,” the official said.
But if problems were to arise, lawyers will be on hand at most major U.S. airports.