A STAND AT O’HARE

LAWYERS, PRO­TEST­ERS FLOCKED TO AIR­PORT AS TRAV­EL­ERS WERE HELD OVER TRUMP OR­DER

Red Eye Chicago - - News - By Grace Wong and Stacy St. Clair

U.S. au­thor­i­ties took more than a dozen trav­el­ers into cus­tody Satur­day at O’Hare In­ter­na­tional Air­port in re­sponse to Pres­i­dent Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion or­der—but lawyers who came to their aid said all were set free af­ter a fed­eral judge tem­po­rar­ily barred de­por­ta­tions.

The Trump crack­down on im­mi­gra­tion from seven ma­jor­ity-Mus­lim coun­tries set off a tu­mul­tuous day at O’Hare as fran­tic rel­a­tives, hun­dreds of pro­test­ers and the vol­un­teer lawyers gath­ered at the air­port.

Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der, signed late Fri­day af­ter­noon, sus­pends en­try of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, bars Syr­ian refugees in­def­i­nitely and blocks en­try for 90 days for ci­ti­zens of seven pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, So­ma­lia, Su­dan, Syria and Ye­men.

The De­part­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity

said that the or­der also bars green-card hold­ers from those coun­tries from re-en­ter­ing the United States, and White House of­fi­cials said Satur­day that they would need a case-by-case waiver to re­turn to the United States. But On NBC News’s “Meet the Press” on Sun­day, Trump’s chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said, “As far as green-card hold­ers go­ing for­ward, it doesn’t af­fect them.”

HELD AT O’HARE

Even be­fore a fed­eral judge in New York ruled to block the U.S. from send­ing peo­ple out of the coun­try un­der Trump’s or­der, a few of those be­ing held at O’Hare had al­ready been re­leased af­ter hours of ques­tion­ing. They in­cluded Hes­san Noo­rian, a Park Ridge res­i­dent re­turn­ing with his fam­ily from Iran.

Noo­rian has a green card, as well as Bri­tish and Ira­nian cit­i­zen­ship, and his wife, Zehra Amirise­fat, is a U.S. cit­i­zen. Their son, Ryan, was born six months ago in sub­ur­ban Chicago. They had been vis­it­ing Tehran to in­tro­duce their child to their fam­ily.

When they landed at O’Hare around noon Satur­day, im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers told them Noo­rian could not en­ter the coun­try with­out an­swer­ing some ques­tions, Amirise­fat said. They waved her and the baby through, but, de­spite her hus­band’s urg­ing her to go home, she re­fused to leave with­out him.

“I was scared,” she said. “I didn’t know what was go­ing to hap­pen to him, if they would send him back. I wasn’t go­ing to leave him to go through that alone.”

The cou­ple, who said they work at Oak­ton Com­mu­nity Col­lege, then texted Amirise­fat’s brother and sub­mit­ted to five hours of onand-off ques­tion­ing. The treat­ment dur­ing his time in cus­tody was nei­ther abu­sive nor ex­em­plary, she said. She was al­lowed to nurse her son in a pri­vate room af­ter mak­ing sev­eral re­quests, and her hus­band was given juice when he felt his blood sugar lev­els drop.

The cou­ple—jet-lagged from their 20-hour trip home from Iran—looked tired and con­fused as they ex­ited cus­toms around 5:30 p.m. Noo­rian car­ried the names of about a dozen peo­ple he said were still be­ing held and phone num­bers for their rel­a­tives.

Noo­rian’s brother-in-law, Mo­ham­mad Amirise­fat, said be­fore Noo­rian’s re­lease: “This is in­sult­ing. This is in­sane, this is truly in­sane.” Af­ter the re­lease, Noo­rian’s wife said: “I can’t be­lieve some­thing like this can hap­pen to some­one with a green card.”

LAWYERS, PRO­TEST­ERS, CHICAGOANS RE­SPOND

Hun­dreds of peo­ple protested in­side and out­side O’Hare’s in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal Satur­day

Pro­test­ers gather at O’Hare air­port on Sun­day. LENNY GIL­MORE/REDEYE PHO­TOS

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