Chicago Sun-Times



- BY SAM CHARLES, LYNN SWEET AND MATTHEW HENDRICKSO­N Staff Re­porters U.S. News · Society · Discrimination · Politics · Immigration · Human Rights · Green · United States of America · Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport · Donald Trump · Illinois · Iran · Park Ridge · Government of the United Kingdom · London · Department of Homeland Security · Homeland · United Kingdom · Ohio · Crystal Lake, IL · Lake · Crystal · Pakistan · Iraq · Yemen · Durbin, WV · Tammy Duckworth · ISIS · Rahm Emanuel · American Immigration Lawyers Association · Jan Schakowsky · Oak Park, Michigan · Printer's Row, Chicago, IL · O'Hare International Airport · Ord, NE · Mike Quigley · Nothing · Oakton Community College

Pro­test­ers shut down car traf­fic to in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal at O’Hare Green- card hold­ers warned not to leave U. S.

A dozen trav­el­ers who’d been held at O’Hare In­ter­na­tional Air­port were re­leased late Satur­day, end­ing a day in which 18 peo­ple were de­tained there due to an ex­ec­u­tive order signed by Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

All of those de­tained through­out the day had been re­leased by 11 p. m., said Fiona McEn­tee, one of the lawyers with the Amer­i­can Im­mi­gra­tion Lawyers As­so­ci­a­tion who rep­re­sented the trav­el­ers.

The chaotic day at the air­port came a day af­ter Trump signed the order bar­ring refugees and green card hold­ers from seven Mus­lim- ma­jor­ity na­tions from en­ter­ing — or re­turn­ing to — the coun­try.

The chaos in­side the in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal dur­ing the day mush­roomed into a mas­sive protest out­side of it Satur­day evening. The throngs blocked car traf­fic into the ter­mi­nal and forced au­thor­i­ties to shut down roads in and out of it, though the ter­mi­nal it­self re­mained open.

Sim­i­lar protests en­sued at air­ports across the coun­try.

Dozens of at­tor­neys crowded O’Hare’s in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal for most of the af­ter­noon Satur­day, of­fer­ing pro bono le­gal aid to any­one who said their fam­ily mem­bers were be­ing held by au­thor­i­ties. U. S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D- Ill., said she’d been work­ing Satur­day to se­cure the re­lease of those be­ing de­tained.

By Satur­day night, a fed­eral judge is­sued an emer­gency order tem­po­rar­ily bar­ring the U. S. from de­port­ing peo­ple from na­tions sub­ject to Trump’s travel ban, say­ing trav­el­ers who had been de­tained had a strong ar­gu­ment that their le­gal rights had been vi­o­lated. It was un­clear how quickly the order might af­fect peo­ple in de­ten­tion or whether it would al­low oth­ers to re­sume fly­ing.

At O’Hare, McEn­tee was thrilled to see a day that be­gan with so much un­cer­tainty end on a happy note.

“I felt like we re­ally saw democ­racy in ac­tion tonight with all the peo­ple that came out to show their sup­port,” she said. “Peo­ple bought us cof­fee and bought pizza. It was in­cred­i­ble.”

Just be­fore 6 p. m. Satur­day, the first per­son at O’Hare to tell at­tor­neys his fam­ily was de­tained, Mo­ham­mad Amirise­fat, was re­united with his sis­ter, brother- in- law and their 6- month- old son, who were re­turn­ing from vis­it­ing fam­ily in Iran.

Af­ter more than five hours of de­ten­tion, Hes­samed­din Noo­rian and his wife Zahra Amirise­fat, along with their baby son Ryan, passed through the gates of O’Hare’s in­ter­na­tional ter­mi­nal.

Noo­rian said be­fore be­ing re­leased he was in­ter­viewed for about a half hour.

“They asked us to sit there, no cell phone, no call, no noth­ing,” he said. “It was like 20 hours flight, and ( we) were there for al­most six hours, and I’m so tired.”

Noo­rian said he didn’t know Fri­day’s ex­ec­u­tive order ap­plied to those like him who hold green cards.

“I thought as long as you have a green card, then you’re safe, you’re fine,” said Noo­rian, who along with his wife teaches at Oak­ton Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

Asked how it felt to be de­tained in a coun­try where he lives, works and had a child, the Park Ridge res­i­dent said: “The only thing I could say is [ it] seems some­thing changed.”

Julia Schloz­man, one of the at­tor­neys who trav­eled to O’Hare at the re­quest of the Amer­i­can Im­mi­gra­tion Lawyers As­so­ci­a­tion, helped re­solve Noo­rian’s de­ten­tion.

“I heard that there was a gen­tle­men be­ing de­tained who had dual Ira­nian/ Bri­tish cit­i­zen­ship, and I had the idea, ‘ Maybe the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment has some­thing to say about the fact that a U. K. pass­port is not be­ing rec­og­nized by U. S. im­mi­gra­tion au­thor­i­ties,’” Schloz­man said.

Schloz­man called “an emer­gency line” in Lon­don to see if the Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties could fol­low up, and they said they would. “I have no idea whether that had any­thing to do with any move­ment on the case, but I guess it was some­thing,” she said.

Rep. Schakowsky said af­ter mak­ing “non- stop” phone calls, she fi­nally reached some­one at the U. S. Depart­ment of Home­land Se­cu­rity, lead­ing to Noo­rian’s re­lease. “It’s un­be­liev­able,” she said. Schakowsky said lawyers gath­ered at the air­port asked her to help those who were be­ing ques­tioned at O’Hare, most of them Chicago- area res­i­dents. Their situations demon­strate Trump’s crack­down is af­fect­ing more than just refugees but also peo­ple who’ve been liv­ing in the U. S. legally.

Among the group de­tained at O’Hare on Satur­day, Schakowsky said, were:

◆ An Oak Park man orig­i­nally from Iran who has a U. S. green card. He is a dual citizen of the United King­dom and Iran.

◆ A South Loop man from Iran with a green card.

◆ A woman from Ohio who has ap­plied for a green card with her 2- year old daugh­ter who is a U. S. citizen.

◆ A cou­ple liv­ing in Crys­tal Lake who have Syr­ian pass­ports.

◆ Three mem­bers of a North Side fam­ily from Pak­istan who have F2 visas.

Oth­ers with green cards in­cluded an elderly woman from Iran, a man from Iraq and a man from Ye­men who has lived in the U. S. for 18 years.

Through­out the day, Demo­cratic politi­cians de­cried Trump’s im­mi­gra­tion crack­down.

“There are fam­i­lies stuck at ORD tonight — chil­dren who don’t know when, if ever, their par­ents will come HOME,” U. S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D- Ill., said in a tweet.

He also tweeted: “These ex­ec­u­tive or­ders are tear­ing fam­i­lies apart and play­ing right into our en­e­mies’ hands.

This isn’t who we are.”

U. S. Sen. Tammy Duck­worth said “stop­ping le­gal per­ma­nent res­i­dents and ba­bies sim­ply be­cause of where they’re from is not the Amer­i­can way, and it doesn’t make us safer. This Mus­lim ban must end.”

Con­gress­man Mike Quigley said Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive order has “very real and dan­ger­ous con­se­quences” and should be re­scinded im­me­di­ately.

“As a Mem­ber of the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, I am con­vinced that sweep­ing bans on whole cat­e­gories of im­mi­grants and refugees is deeply harm­ful to our na­tional se­cu­rity in­ter­ests, fur­ther com­pli­cat­ing the fight against ISIS and other ter­ror­ist groups. More­over, ban­ning a group of peo­ple strictly on the grounds of their re­li­gion is un­con­sti­tu­tional and dis­re­spects the legacy of our na­tion’s founders.”

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Trump’s ac­tion tar­nishes Amer­ica’s im­age in the world.

“Those kids be­ing stopped, whether they’re from Syria or an­other coun­try, are part of a hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis,” Emanuel said. “This un­der­cuts who we are and what we stand for.”

Law­suits also had be­gun be­ing filed in fed­eral court in Chicago on be­half of some of those be­ing de­tained. It was un­clear whether those ac­tions would pro­ceed now that the de­tainees had been freed.


HES­SAMED­DIN NOO­RIAN, who was de­tained at O’Hare with his wife and baby son on Satur­day

 ?? SAM CHARLES/ SUN- TIMES ?? Mo­ham­mad Amirise­fat had to wait hours at O’Hare to be re­united with his sis­ter Zahra Amirise­fat ( left).
SAM CHARLES/ SUN- TIMES Mo­ham­mad Amirise­fat had to wait hours at O’Hare to be re­united with his sis­ter Zahra Amirise­fat ( left).
 ?? MATTHEW HENDRICKSO­N/ SUN- TIMES ?? Demon­stra­tors protest Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive order on de­por­ta­tions at O’Hare on Satur­day.
MATTHEW HENDRICKSO­N/ SUN- TIMES Demon­stra­tors protest Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ex­ec­u­tive order on de­por­ta­tions at O’Hare on Satur­day.
 ??  ?? Pro­test­ers gather at O’Hare on Satur­day to protest Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. | MATTHEW HENDRICKSO­N/ SUN- TIMES
Pro­test­ers gather at O’Hare on Satur­day to protest Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump. | MATTHEW HENDRICKSO­N/ SUN- TIMES

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA