“Chaos, Panic, Anger, Lawsuits” – A Summary Of The Fallout From Trump’s Refugee Ban

Saturday, January 28, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Jan 28, 2017

Trump’s sweeping, and immediately enforced ban on people seeking refuge in the United States and visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries which will last at least three months has caused what Reuters dubs “chaos, panic and anger” – as well as lawsuits – not only among travelers on Saturday – with some denied entry to the US and turned back from U.S.-bound flights – but also among US allies such as France and Germany. The bans affect travelers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and as the DHS confirmed on Saturday, extends to green card holders who are granted authorization to live and work in the United States.

As the NYT reported on Saturday morning, refugees traveling into the U.S. on Friday night were already being detained at airports following the implementation of the executive order, which immediately closed US borders to refugees. Two Iraqi refugees detained at Kennedy Airport in New York have filed a writ of habeas corpus seeking to be released. They also filed a motion for class certification, to represent all refugees and immigrants being detained at ports of entry.

One of the Iraqis detained at Kennedy Airport, Khalid Darweesh, has worked for the U.S. government in Iraq for 10 years, according to the Times report. The other detainee Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi was arriving to the U.S. to join his wife, a U.S. contractor, and his young son. The men were on separate flights into the U.S.

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 two men had visas to enter the United States but were detained on Friday night at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, hours after Trump’s executive order, the lawsuit said.

At the same time, in Cairo, six Iraqi passengers and one Yemeni were barred from boarding an EgyptAir flight to New York on Saturday, sources at Cairo airport said. The passengers, arriving in transit to Cairo airport, were stopped and re-directed to flights headed for their home countries despite holding valid visas. The officials said the seven migrants, escorted by officials from the U.N. refugee agency, were stopped from boarding the plane after authorities at Cairo airport contacted their counterparts in JFK airport.

Others have also challenged the legality of Trump’s order, with immigration lawyers in New York suing to block the order, saying numerous people have already been unlawfully detained.

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The executive order has prompted fury from Arab travelers in the Middle East and North Africa who said it was humiliating and discriminatory. It drew widespread criticism from U.S. Western allies including France and Germany, Arab American groups, human rights organizations.

“This is a stupid, terrible decision which will hurt the American people more than us or anybody else, because it shows that this President can’t manage people, politics or global relationships,” said Najeed Haidari, a Yemeni-American security manager for an oil company in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

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