A Travel Ban’s Foe: A Young Firebrand and Her Pro Bono Brigade

Becca Heller, 35, a founder of the International Refugee Assistance Project, attending a fund-raiser at the Seagram heir Charles Bronfman’s home in New York last month. Credit Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Tipped off by her Washington sources that an executive order blocking refugees was coming, Becca Heller fired off messages to her vast network of law students and pro bono lawyers:

Tell any clients who already have visas to board a plane for the United States. Get ready for the possibility that they will be detained upon landing.

“URGENT-Protect refugees arriving at airports,” she wrote in an email blast on Jan. 25.

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