On Friday afternoon President Trump issued an executive order suspending refugee admissions for four months and indefinitely banned those from Syria, pending new extreme vetting procedures from the Dept. of Homeland Security that will ensure refugees won’t harm Americans on U.S. soil.
But on Saturday evening a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York issued an emergency stay that temporarily blocks the federal government from stopping people from entering the United States after they have landed at a U.S. airport with valid visas.
The court ruled on a habeas corpus petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on behalf of two Iraqi men who were detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday after Trump’s ban.
FROM FOX NEWS
The ruling by Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York came during a hearing called after President Donald Trump issued an executive order blocking people from seven Muslim-majority from entering the United States and putting a temporary halt to refugee admissions
Twelve refugees were detained at JFK Airport within hours of Trump’s order restricting immigration from seven majority-Muslim nations — but two were released later in the day — as hundreds of protesters continued to amass at the busy airport throughout the day and into the evening.
One of the Iraqis, Hameed Jhalid Darweesh, 53, was released by midday Saturday. “I suffered to move here, to get my family here …. I can’t go back,” Darweesh said shortly after his release, according to the New York Post. Asked if he’d be killed in Iraq, he answered: “Yes, yes.”
Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an Army interpreter in Iraq, had been stopped as he traveled with his wife and three kids when agents pulled him aside, according to the New York Times.
The other Iraqi detainee, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, 33, was released at about 6:30 p.m. The fate of 10 other refugees, whose nationalities were not immediately known, is unclear.
Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan) and Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn) announced the number of refugees held at the airport. “This should not happen in America. We shouldn’t have to demand the release of refugees one by one,” the two members of Congress said in a statement.
“They have been detained illegally. I am begging you to go and revisit this. It’s ill-advised, it’s mean spirited,” said Velazquez, during a press conference.
Meanwhile, the National Immigration Law Center and other civil liberties organizations have filed a suit in federal court in New York on behalf of the two Iraqi men that seeks to certify the case as a class-action on behalf of other who organizers claim have been detained illegally. Karen Tumlin, legal director at the NILC, issued the following statement:
“Trump’s order keeps some of the world’s most vulnerable people in life threatening danger. … Many refugees like our client risked their lives to help the United States government. The fact that the government has now decided to turn its back on those who served and protected us isn’t just unconscionable. It’s unconstitutional.”
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Massive Protest Erupts At JFK Airport Over Detained Refugees