© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Immigration Attorney Advises Refugees, Warns Immigrants Not Affected By Trump’s Travel Ban


A Capital City immigration law attorney is recommending refugees affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban stay in the U.S., if they can. She also has a warning for people who came to the U.S. from other countries.

Last Friday, Trump signed an Executive Order. It temporarily bars people from seven Muslim-majority countries—Iran, Iraq, Syria as well as Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen—from entering the U.S. for at least three months:

“So, what that means is people who were coming into the U.S. after the Executive Order was signed on Friday—namely Saturday, were being at least rejected from the U.S., and if those people were refugees, that means they were going to go back to a situation where their lives were at risk and it even included lawful, permanent residents of the U.S., and even dual citizens of the U.S., who were presenting their non-U.S. passport,” said Elizabeth Ricci.

While she’s based in Tallahassee, Immigration Attorney Elizabeth Ricci has clients all over the country and the world—who she says are very concerned.

“Especially clients from Iran. I represent many scientists from Iran, and they’re concerned if they leave the United States, then they’re not going to be able to come back in and that their families are not going to be able to come back and visit them because they’re one of the barred countries,” she added.

Trump says this is not about religion, as many Muslim countries aren’t on the list. And, he says he issued the Executive Order to keep the country safe from countries identified as sources of terror. But, Ricci disagrees.

“That list does noticeably not include countries with which he has tremendous business dealings, including Saudi Arabia,” continued Ricci. “But, we have to keep in mind that the 9-11 hijackers and the Boston Marathon Bombers were not refugees and they were not from the countries on this Executive Order. So, it’s misplaced, ill-informed, and probably unconstitutional. It’s not just illegal and contrary to the Immigration and Nationality Act to exclude people from countries who have not posed a security threat.”

Ricci is discouraging anyone from one of the countries named in the Executive Order from traveling outside the U.S., at least for now.

“And, I encourage anyone who’s an immigrant—including lawful permanent residents or green card holders who have a criminal history vacated by a qualified criminal defense attorney as it may turn out that criminal aliens, even permanent residents, with minor offenses may be pursued for deportation, in the future,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, there have been multiple legal challenges filed to Trump’s Executive Order.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.