Iraqi Refugees Detained at NYC Airport


Two Iraqi refugees were detained at New York’s JFK Airport after traveling into the U.S. on Friday night, not long after President Trump’s executive order immediately closed the nation’s borders to refugees.

According to The New York Times, the two Iraqi refugees have filed a writ of habeas corpus seeking to be released, along with a motion for class certification to represent all refugees and immigrants being detained at ports of entry.

Complaints about their detainment were filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, the International Refugee Assistance Project at the Urban Justice Center, the National Immigration Law Center, Yale Law School’s Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, and the firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

The New York Times reported that one of the Iraqis detained at JFK Airport, Khalid Darweesh, worked for the U.S. government in Iraq for ten years, while the other detainee, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, arrived here to join his wife who is a U.S. contractor and his young son.

On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that he said would provide a thorough vetting of refugees – to ensure that “radical Islamic terrorists” cannot get into the United States – and closed the borders to many middle eastern countries.

President Trump’s order temporarily blocks refugees from Syria from entering the U.S. and suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days while the administration determines which countries pose the least risk.

Until a vetting procedure is developed that can be deemed “adequate” by the secretary of state, the secretary of homeland security, and the director of national intelligence, the immigrant refugee process has been halted.

H/T: The Hill

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