Refugee ban causes world­wide furor

Stay af­fects those held at air­ports with valid visas


A fed­eral judge in New York blocked de­por­ta­tions na­tion­wide late Satur­day of those de­tained on en­try to the United States after an ex­ec­u­tive or­der from Pres­i­dent Trump tar­geted cit­i­zens from seven pre­dom­i­nantly Mus­lim coun­tries.

Judge Ann Don­nelly of the U.S. District Court in Brook­lyn granted a re­quest from the Amer­i­can Civil Lib­er­ties Union to stop the de­por­ta­tions after de­ter­min­ing that the risk of in­jury to those de­tained by be­ing re­turned to their home coun­tries ne­ces­si­tated the de­ci­sion.

Min­utes after the judge’s rul­ing in New York, an­other came in Alexan­dria when U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema is­sued a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der to block for seven days the re­moval of any green-card hold­ers be­ing de­tained at Dulles In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Brinkema’s ac­tion also or­dered that lawyers have ac­cess to those held there be­cause of the ban.

Trump’s or­der re­ver­ber­ated across the world Satur­day, mak­ing it in­creas­ingly clear that the

mea­sure he had promised dur­ing his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign was cast­ing a wider net than even his op­po­nents had feared.

Con­fu­sion and con­cern among im­mi­grant ad­vo­cates mounted through­out the day as trav­el­ers from the Mid­dle East were de­tained at U.S. air­ports or sent home. A law­suit filed on be­half of two Iraqi men chal­lenged Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion, which was signed Fri­day and ini­tially cast as ap­ply­ing to refugees and mi­grants.

But as the day pro­gressed, ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials con­firmed that the sweep­ing or­der also tar­geted U.S. le­gal res­i­dents from the named coun­tries — green-card hold­ers — who were abroad when it was signed. Also sub­ject to be­ing barred en­try into the United States are dual na­tion­als, or peo­ple born in one of the seven coun­tries who hold pass­ports even from U.S. al­lies, such as the United King­dom.

The vir­tu­ally un­prece­dented mea­sures trig­gered harsh re­ac­tions from not only Democrats and oth­ers who typ­i­cally ad­vo­cate for im­mi­grants but also key sec­tors of the U.S. busi­ness com­mu­nity. Lead­ing tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies re­called scores of over­seas em­ploy­ees and sharply crit­i­cized the pres­i­dent. Le­gal ex­perts fore­cast a wave of lit­i­ga­tion over the or­der, call­ing it un­con­sti­tu­tional. Lawyers and ad­vo­cates for im­mi­grants are ad­vis­ing them to seek asy­lum in Canada.

Yet Trump, who cen­tered his cam­paign in part on his vow to crack down on il­le­gal im­mi­grants and im­pose what be­came known as his “Mus­lim ban,’’ was un­bowed. As White House of­fi­cials in­sisted that the mea­sure strength­ens na­tional se­cu­rity, the pres­i­dent stood squarely be­hind it.

“It’s not a Mus­lim ban, but we were to­tally pre­pared,” Trump told re­porters in the Oval Of­fice. “You see it at the air­ports, you see it all over. It’s work­ing out very nicely, and we’re go­ing to have a very, very strict ban, and we’re go­ing to have ex­treme vet­ting, which we should have had in this coun­try for many years.”

In New York, Don­nelly seemed to have lit­tle pa­tience for the govern­ment’s ar­gu­ments, which fo­cused heav­ily on the fact that the two de­fen­dants named in the law­suit had al­ready been re­leased.

Don­nelly noted that those de­tained were suf­fer­ing mostly from the bad for­tune of trav­el­ing while the ban went into ef­fect. “Our own govern­ment pre­sum­ably ap­proved their en­try to the coun­try,” she said at one point, not­ing that, had it been two days prior, those de­tained would have been granted ad­mis­sion with­out ques­tion.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, ACLU at­tor­ney Lee Gel­ernt in­formed the court that he had re­ceived word of a de­por­ta­tion to Syria, sched­uled within the hour. That prompted Don­nelly to ask if the govern­ment could as­sure that the per­son would not suf­fer ir­repara­ble harm. Re­ceiv­ing no such as­sur­ance, she granted the stay to the broad group in­cluded in the ACLU’s re­quest.

A se­nior Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity of­fi­cial had no com­ment about the rul­ings late Satur­day and said the depart­ment was con­sult­ing with its lawyers.

The of­fi­cial said en­force­ment of the pres­i­dent’s or­der on Satur­day had cre­ated min­i­mal dis­rup­tion, given that only a small num­ber of the sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand trav­el­ers ar­riv­ing at U.S. air­ports daily had been af­fected.

Na­tion­wide, he said, 109 peo­ple had been de­nied en­try into the United States. All had been in tran­sit when Trump signed the or­der, and some had al­ready de­parted the United States on flights by late Satur­day while oth­ers were still be­ing de­tained await­ing flights. Also, 173 peo­ple had not been al­lowed to board U.S.-bound planes at for­eign air­ports.

The of­fi­cial said that of­fi­cers do­ing case-by-case re­views had granted 81 waivers so far to green­card hold­ers.

DHS be­gan im­ple­ment­ing the pres­i­dent’s or­der im­me­di­ately after he signed it, ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial. He de­clined to say whether the depart­ment had an op­er­a­tional plan ready at that time.

Though sev­eral con­gres­sional Repub­li­cans de­nounced the or­der, the ma­jor­ity re­mained silent, and a few voiced cru­cial sup­port — in­clud­ing, most promi­nently, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.), who had re­jected Trump’s anti-Mus­lim pro­pos­als dur­ing the cam­paign. “This is not a reli­gious test, and it is not a ban on peo­ple of any re­li­gion,’’ Ryan said Satur­day. “This or­der does not af­fect the vast ma­jor­ity of Mus­lims in the world.”

The pres­i­dent’s or­der, signed Fri­day, sus­pends ad­mis­sion to the United States of all refugees for 120 days and bars for 90 days the en­try of any cit­i­zen from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Ye­men, Su­dan, Libya and So­ma­lia. That list ex­cludes sev­eral ma­jor­ity-Mus­lim na­tions — no­tably Turkey, the United Arab Emi­rates and In­done­sia — where the Trump Or­ga­ni­za­tion, now run by the pres­i­dent’s adult sons, is ac­tive and which in some cases have also faced trou­ble­some is­sues with ter­ror­ism.

Ac­cord­ing to the text of the or­der, the re­stric­tion ap­plies to coun­tries that have al­ready been ex­cluded from pro­grams al­low­ing peo­ple to travel to the United States with­out a visa be­cause of ter­ror­ism con­cerns. Hew­ing closely to na­tions al­ready named as ter­ror­ism con­cerns else­where in law might have al­lowed the White House to avoid an­ger­ing pow­er­ful and wealthy ma­jor­i­tyMus­lim al­lies, such as Egypt and Saudi Ara­bia.

Amid wide­spread con­fu­sion on Satur­day about how the or­der will be en­forced, some ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials ac­knowl­edged that its roll­out had been chaotic. Of­fi­cials tried to re­as­sure trav­el­ers and their fam­i­lies, point­ing out that green-card hold­ers in the United States will not be af­fected and not­ing that the DHS is al­lowed to grant waivers to those in­di­vid­u­als and oth­ers deemed to not pose a se­cu­rity threat. It can take years for some­one to be­come a green-card holder, or law­ful per­ma­nent res­i­dent au­tho­rized to per­ma­nently live and work in the coun­try.

“If you’ve been liv­ing in the United States for 15 years and you own a busi­ness and your fam­ily is here, will you be granted a waiver? I’m as­sum­ing yes, but we are work­ing that out,’’ said one of­fi­cial, who could not be more spe­cific be­cause de­tails re­mained so cloudy. A se­nior White House of­fi­cial later said that waivers will be eval­u­ated on a case-by-case ba­sis and that green­card hold­ers in the United States will have to meet with a con­sular of­fi­cer be­fore leav­ing the coun­try.

But of­fi­cials made clear that the fed­eral of­fi­cers de­tain­ing refugees and mi­grants with valid U.S. visas and re­strict­ing them from en­ter­ing the coun­try were fol­low­ing or­ders handed down by top DHS of­fi­cials, at the White House’s be­hest.

The or­der drew out­rage from a range of ac­tivist and ad­vo­cates for Mus­lims, Arabs and im­mi­grants. More than 4,000 aca­demics from univer­si­ties na­tion­wide signed a state­ment of op­po­si­tion and voiced con­cern the ban would be­come per­ma­nent. They de­scribed it as dis­crim­i­na­tory and “in­hu­mane, in­ef­fec­tive and un-Amer­i­can.”

The ex­ec­u­tive ac­tion has caused “com­plete chaos” and torn apart fam­i­lies, said Abed Ay­oub, le­gal and pol­icy di­rec­tor of the Amer­i­can-Arab Anti-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mit­tee.

At Dulles, Vir­ginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) ad­dressed more than 100 peo­ple protest­ing Trump’s or­der. He said: “I re­mind ev­ery­body we are a land of im­mi­grants . . . . Dis­crim­i­na­tory tac­tics breed ha­tred.’’

In New York, lawyers for two Iraqi men de­tained at John F. Kennedy In­ter­na­tional Air­port — one of whom served the U.S. mil­i­tary mis­sion in Iraq — filed a fed­eral law­suit chal­leng­ing the or­der as un­con­sti­tu­tional.

One of the men, Hameed Khalid Dar­weesh, was re­leased Satur­day af­ter­noon with­out ex­pla­na­tion from fed­eral of­fi­cials. “This is the hu­man­ity, this is the soul of Amer­ica,’’ he told re­porters. “This is what pushed me to move, to leave my coun­try and come here . . . . Amer­ica is the land of free­dom — the land of free­dom, the land of the right.’’

Other ad­vo­cates promised fur­ther le­gal chal­lenges. The Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions (CAIR) de­nounced the or­der and said it would file a law­suit chal­leng­ing it as un­con­sti­tu­tional.

In a con­fer­ence call with re­porters, im­mi­gra­tion lawyers and ad­vo­cates said Trump’s or­der vi­o­lated the Con­sti­tu­tion, along with U.S. and in­ter­na­tional laws that guar­an­tee mi­grants the right to ap­ply for asy­lum at the bor­der and the Im­mi­gra­tion and Na­tion­al­ity Act, which for­bids dis­crim­i­na­tion in the is­suance of visas based on race, na­tion­al­ity, place of birth or place of res­i­dence.

But Mark Kriko­rian, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Im­mi­gra­tion Stud­ies, which ad­vo­cates for lower im­mi­gra­tion lev­els, praised Trump.

“It’s a pru­dent mea­sure,” he said. “It’s not the end of the world. It’s not the Statue of Lib­erty cry­ing. The re­ac­tion has been hy­per­bolic.”


Pro­test­ers as­sem­ble at John F. Kennedy In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Satur­day in New York. Pres­i­dent Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der sus­pends ad­mis­sion to the United States of all refugees for 120 days and bars for 90 days the en­try of any cit­i­zen from seven coun­tries.


CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: Demon­stra­tors greet ar­riv­ing pas­sen­gers at Dulles In­ter­na­tional Air­port; Hamed Bay is re­united with his fam­ily at Lo­gan In­ter­na­tional Air­port in Bos­ton; demon­stra­tors gather at San Fran­cisco In­ter­na­tional Air­port; Hos­sein Khosh­bakhty wipes tears as he talks about his Ira­nian brother, a U.S. green-card holder af­fected by the travel ban, at Los An­ge­les In­ter­na­tional Air­port.


Chicago’s O’Hare In­ter­na­tional Air­port was one of sev­eral air­ports across the coun­try where demon­stra­tors gath­ered to de­nounce Pres­i­dent Trump’s ban on im­mi­grants from seven coun­tries.




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