Cedar Valley joining nationwide political actions: German teacher sees increasing need for assisting immigrants

Around 1,000 community members joined together on Feb. 5 in front of Rep. Rod Blum’s office in Cedar Falls for a peaceful protest, using #NoBanNoWall to make it clear what they were protesting about: Trump’s recent immigration ban. Notable speakers included Christopher Schwartz, Iowa’s first openly gay county supervisor, and Eva Cameron, a reverend at Cedar Valley United Universalists, but one speaker in particular hits closer to Cedar Falls High School.

She stepped onto the bed of the red truck, holding a cheat sheet full of points to touch on. She straightened her coat, looked to her notes and began to speak into the microphone with eloquence. Gunda Brost, a German teacher and immigration lawyer, was poised and ready to draw upon her personal experiences regarding the impact of Trump’s recent immigration ban.

Given her occupation, Brost said she felt she had to speak up in this time of trouble. “People are in a state of panic and confusion, especially immigrants, and among them, especially from those seven banned countries,” Brost said.

She has seen the ban’s effect on the community and her business. “Our phone has been ringing off the hook day and night, and I am approached randomly on the street by people that know I’m an immigration lawyer and want to ask me for advice. It’s been crazy.”

In addition to being featured in The Courier last week, Brost has also received requests to speak and give presentations around the Cedar Valley. “I have been asked to give three presentations this week alone,” Brost said.

Between teaching students German, running her own immigration law firm and giving presentations, Brost is quite a busy woman. But she still finds time to speak at protests such as the one on Feb. 5 because it gives her a sense of hope for the future.

“Both within and outside the protest, to see so many people who care, so many community members who clearly have their hearts in the right place,” Brost said.

Last Friday, Feb. 3, federal judge James Robart of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington put a temporary hold on key parts of the executive order nationwide. The Ninth Circuit scheduled verbal arguments for the matter, and attorneys will make their cases to three federal judges who will then determine the fate of the temporary restraining order on the executive order.  Since Robart’s ruling put a hold on the ban, the executive order is no longer in effect until ruled by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

“In my opinion the ban is unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court will let us know for sure,” Brost said.

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