When news broke in January 2017 that travel would be banned from certain countries, lawyers around the United States rushed to airports to offer pro bono support to those impacted by the executive order. Chicago associate Jamie Friedland was one such lawyer. In addition to working directly with those affected by the so-called travel ban, he helped organize the efforts of more than 300 other lawyers and translators at O’Hare International Airport, including 20 other Latham attorneys. Jamie and his fellow organizers were recently recognized as Chicagoans of the Year by Chicago Magazine on behalf of the group; they were also honored with a special resolution applauding their contributions to the city of Chicago by the Cook County Board of Commissioners.
For more than three months, attorneys were stationed at O’Hare 18 hours per day, every day, ready to advise refugees, immigrants, green-card holders, asylum seekers, and other travelers who were affected by the travel restrictions instituted by the US government. The group also set up a 24-hour hotline to continue to answer questions and provide pro bono services at O’Hare.