'This Is Ethnic Cleansing': Immigration Lawyers Work The Graveyard Shift At JFK

<strong>Kristin Garris</strong>: "I'm so against so many things that Trump is doing. I just can't believe that he's getting away with all of these unconstitutional acts, and in one week. He's created so much havoc. I got here at 10:30 last night. The person whose place I took was a shift manager, so I need to relay information to the next group."<br/>

<strong>Juno Turner</strong>: "Since I got here I feel happy that I've found a way that I can help. What I'm doing right now is figuring out how many volunteers we have, what the incoming flights are, and then making sure we can dispatch enough volunteers who may be coming off those flights...It's hard for me to name which one of the many things about this bothers me the most, I immigrated to the states when I was seven from England, and I remember how closely our mom guarded our green cards. Thinking about people who live here legally and just went away, traveling or on business or school, and then had their legal status taken away with the stroke of a pen bothers me a lot. But also people feeling from war and desperation--in so many cases fleeing from scenarios that we created. As an American that bothers me a lot. So often in these circumstances you feel like there's nothing you can do, and you feel helpless. Here there's a way that I can contribute at least a little bit. And the middle of the night is the best time I can do it, because I have small children and they're sleeping right now. I put them to bed, I slept for two hours, then came here."<br/>

<strong>Roman Zelichenko, 29</strong>: "A bunch of our colleagues from law school had posted their activities from yesterday, and we found out about it Saturday evening. We came down here Sunday afternoon and have been here ever since. I've been here almost 12 hours. I came down here to help. I have an immigration law background but I'm down here doing media work. I think a ban on any one group of people based on their nationality is unlawful--where I stand on it morally I would say is irrelevant from the perspective of us trying to help them as legal professionals, but I come from a refugee family and came here when I was young from Ukraine. We were part of a Jewish refugee wave that came to the United States. Certainly at that time our people weren't welcomed with open arms, but thankfully we got in and as much as I can I want to give back to that cause. Having the ability to do that from a legal and social media perspective is awesome."<br/>

<strong>Scott Coomes, 30</strong>: "I'm an asylum lawyer, so these are issues that I pay close attention to. But this is escalating to another, higher level of egregiousness. It's about helping individual people, but also putting a stop to things before this is normalized and becomes a trend."<br/>

<strong>Kyle M, 29</strong>: "I got here at 9 p.m. last night and I'm doing...ok. I've been impressed. I think for a pretty ad-hoc group they've organized incredibly well. They've helped people, they've brought awareness to the cause, and they've done it all next to Central Diner at Terminal 4 of JFK. A lot of them have work this morning. You do everything you can to stand by people who are being unfairly treated by the law. That's the best part of having a law degree, when you can do that. When the people you're supporting really need it."<br/>

<strong>Marissa Ran, 32</strong>: "This is insane. I'm an immigration lawyer and I've worked with people who are refugees and seeking asylum in the U.S., I've worked in other countries, and I've never seen anything like this. This is ethnic cleansing that's going on. This is about exclusion. Practicing immigration law, you realize that, the way the code is written and who's let in and who's not. It's not actually about fairness, it's about protecting who supposedly matters and who doesn't. This is just next level. And unfortunately, under the Obama administration things were already bad, and a lot of the machinery is already in place. I lived in Germany for the last year, and watching what's going on in the U.K., in Australia, in Western Europe, and now here, this is ethno-nationalism. This is fascism."<br/>