More than a dozen Democratic attorneys general from states across the country have condemned the Trump administration’s executive order suspending acceptance of refugees and have vowed to oppose it "to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created.”
In a communique Sunday, the group said: “As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump's unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith.”
The executive order places an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and prohibits citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering as refugees for four months. It also places a suspension on admissions of other citizens of those countries.
Thirteen people who were detained Saturday night at Los Angeles International Airport's Terminal 2 were eventually released, a law enforcement source told The Times. Each of them held green cards, which grant permanent residency in the U.S.
The source, who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the situation at the airport, could not provide detention figures for the Tom Bradley International Terminal, which has been the center of protest activity.
Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Democrats will introduce legislation as soon as Monday to stop President Trump's actions temporarily banning refugees and arrivals from certain Muslim countries.
House Democrats are taking similar legislative action, and lawmakers from both chambers will rally Monday evening at the Supreme Court to protest Trump's orders.
"This executive order was mean-spirited and un-American," said Schumer, the New York Democrat, choking up as he stood with immigrants and refugees at a press conference Sunday. "It must be reversed immediately."
For those immigrants temporarily detained under a new Trump administration executive order at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, attorneys have put a priority on getting some of the older detainees released to their families.
One small victory for the lawyers was the case of Yassin Abdelrhman, a 76-year-old green card holder from Sudan who had been detained after a trip home to visit family. He was released about noon on Sunday after being detained for 30 hours.
In a statement to the New York Times today, Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi said he no longer planned to attend this year's ceremony. Farhadi's film "The Salesman" is nominated in the foreign language film category.
Farhadi had initially hoped to attend despite the prohibition on visitors from Iran. But he said he had decided"the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip."
Perhaps nothing encapsulates the chaos emanating from President Trump’s executive order better than what happened with Ukrainian Airlines Flight 232.
The regularly scheduled flight to Kiev had to turn around on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy Airport early Sunday after a federal judge issued a stay of a deportation order of dozens of foreigners, including a 32-year-old Iranian linguist who is a doctoral candidate and former Fulbright scholar.
With just minutes to spare, Vahideh Rasekhi -- helped by volunteer lawyers and her smart phone – managed to prevent the flight from taking off. She had arrived Saturday afternoon, but was blocked from entering the United States by the executive order barring arrivals of citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.
Holding signs reading “Refugees Welcome” and chanting “No Ban, No Wall, Sanctuary for All,’’ several dozen demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on Sunday to join protests in the U.S. against President Trump’s new immigration policy.
Mia Zur Szpiro, a 36-year-old filmmaker, said she felt compelled to demonstrate because her parents survived the Holocaust. “We are a country of immigrants, and to me it was astounding that this [order] was passed on Holocaust Memorial Day,’’ she said. “It’s wrong to stereotype, and it's wrong to send people who are in need back into the face of danger and the risk of death.’’
Elliot Vaisbrub Glassenberg, a protest organizer and migrant rights activist, compared the new U.S. policy to Israeli policies toward tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants who crossed into the country illegally from Egypt’s Sinai desert.
Hundreds of travelers were blocked from entering the U.S. or prevented from boarding flights in the hours after President Trump signed his order banning arrivals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
In the order, Trump temporarily suspended refugee admissions and banned travelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Scores of people from those countries were aboard airplanes flying toward the U.S. when Trump signed his executive order on Friday afternoon, setting off waves of confusion among border officials and the traveling public.
The White House on Sunday appeared to back down on a key part of President Trump’s tough new immigration order, signaling that travelers trying to enter the country from seven banned countries will be allowed in if they hold green cards.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that these legal permanent residents are exempt from the travel ban “moving forward,” even though over the weekend other administration officials said the rule did apply to them.
The apparent reversal came amid a national controversy over the new Trump order that temporarily halts the entry of all refugees to the U.S. and any traveler from seven majority Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.