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Understanding the Executive Order on Immigration

Anyone who did not attend the program that the City Club of Cleveland put on in collaboration with the Happy Dog titled "Understanding the Executive Order on Immigration" on Wednesday night, February 1st, at the Happy Dog on Euclid Avenue missed something important because everyone there got to witness a very informative discussion between Professor Jonathan H. Adler from the CWRU School of Law and Mr. Joseph Mead, Volunteer Attorney with the ACLU moderated by Professor Milena Sterio from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law who, on occasion, voiced her opinion also.

Professor Adler and Mr. Mead agreed that last week's Executive Order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" from President Trump was very confusing and written in a downright "sloppy" style. Professor Adler even said that if the President had ran his companies in the manner reflected in the Executive Order then he would be in trouble.

Both seriously questioned the need for such action but differed as to whether President Trump was within his legal right to do it; Professor Adler reluctantly believed that he did and cited several legal instances (such as Act 212) that gave credibility to his position (we are not saying that we agree with him but he gave a good argument) while Mr. Mead indicated that he believed that the President was taking precedent (i.e. President Obama's banning refugees from Iraq for 6 months) and stretching it too far and thus the Executive Order might be vulnerable to a court challenge.

We talked to Professors Adler and Sterio and Mr. Mead for a few minutes after the program and found them all to be accessible and very concerned about the direction that the Trump administration is apparently taking this country regarding our treatment of immigrants and those who would like to come here even temporarily and how this will effect out standing abroad from a foreign policy standpoint.

What was particularly poignant was when, during the Q and A, a student from Iran came forward and talked about how he was now afraid to go home and visit his family for fear of not being able to return. He paused for a moment and thanked his international friends (including those from the United States) by standing beside him during this troubled time. Later a woman, who identified herself as a daughter of a person who immigrated to the United States from Iran, came forward and expressed her support for the Iranian student and said that he "was welcome in my house anytime" before pointing out that the Executive Order does not apply to certain countries that have an even more disturbing history regarding terrorist activity than the seven countries it does apply to.

The audience wondered what they could do to challenge such actions and the panelists suggested taking part in demonstrations like the one scheduled for 4pm on Friday at 25th and Lorain, joining groups like the ACLU which are a strong lobbying force, and engaging in civil (as opposed to contentious) discourse with those who disagreed with them. Interestingly, Professor Adler believed that one might consider following the Tea Party model of directly confronting our legislators on specific issues pertaining to immigration policy and we believe that this has the potential to be an effective strategyparticularly when the issue of the DACA kids comes to the forefront as we believe it will in the not-too-distant future.

We arrived early and said hello to Ms. Celina Coming and Mr. Ryan Szymczak who were tending an information table for the ACLU and then sat down to enjoy a vegan dog with several members of the family of Mr. Dan Moulthrop, City Club CEO, who were Ms. Jewel Moulthrop (his mother), Mr. Kevin Komito (his stepfather), and Ms. Lisa Russo (his mother-in-law) and had an engaging visit accompanied by good food and an eagerness to learn from the panelists who lived up to our expectations.

Mr. Moulthrop, himself, introduced the discussion by talking about how he and the rest of the City Club staff spent the previous weekend being very troubled and confused by the Executive Order and those being hurt by it so when they came to work on Monday they resolved to do something about it and, incredibly, put this evening together in record time.


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC.


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