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Immigration attorneys seeking to help airport travelers in Los Angeles blocked by visa ban

Los Angeles International Airport (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)
Los Angeles International Airport (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

At least 10 to 15 immigration attorneys have gathered at the Tom Bradley international terminal at LAX to help travelers, mostly from Iran, who have been detained, one of the attorneys said.

Attorneys have not yet been able to determine the number of fliers detained, as U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials are not allowing attorneys or families any communication with the detainees, said immigration attorney Jordan Cunnings.

"We're literally walking around asking people, are you waiting for someone who has been detained?" said Cunnings, describing a scene of worried family members who had arrived bearing flowers and welcome signs for their loved ones.

Some of the detained travelers included green card holders, tourists, people with children and people with medical problems, Cunnings said.

One detained traveler was an Iranian woman who'd held a green card in the U.S. for five years and whose citizenship swearing-in ceremony is in two weeks, Cunnings said. The woman has an 11-month-old child with her who is an American citizen.

"People don't have phone access or communication access to the people waiting for them, or their attorneys," Cunnings said. "It's just really heartbreaking."

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