On Sunday, lawyers, journalists, and political leaders documented the chaos at airports resulting from President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting migration from Muslim-majority countries. The lack of advance notice of the immigration order along with conflicting accounts of whether the order applied to green card holders, made the situation even worse for people traveling to the U.S.
Although White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the order did not affect those holding green cards, the Department of Homeland Security said it applied to legal permanent residents. On Saturday, a federal judge ruled in favor of a temporary restraining order preventing those currently being held at U.S. airports from being deported. It was not a final ruling on the constitutionality of the executive order, however.
Many people are still being detained at airports. According to NY1, at least a dozen people were still detained at JFK Airport on Sunday morning. Alina Das, an attorney, told NY1, “The stay prevents the government from removing people who have valid status, but at the same time we’re hearing reports [they] might still be deported in violation of the stay, so there’s a lot of concern that the law isn’t being followed, and that’s simply un-American.”
Congressman Hakeen Jeffries (D-NY), went to JFK Airport on Sunday morning to speak with families affected by the executive order and said people with visas were still being detained.
Here at JFK with the families of individuals w/ visas who are STILL being detained, some w/ relatives who are active duty military #Shameful
— Hakeem Jeffries (@RepJeffries) January 29, 2017
New York Times reporter Matthew Rosenberg reported on Sunday morning that customs agents at Dulles International Airport neard Washington, D.C. were not letting lawyers see people who were being detained.
Customs agents at Dulles airport not letting lawyers see anyone detained, or saying if anyone is being held, a violation of court order
— Matthew Rosenberg (@AllMattNYT) January 29, 2017
Desis Rising Up & Moving, an organization of working class South Asian immigrants in New York City, tweeted that the authorities were putting immigrants back on planes, in violation of the court order.
DHS and CBP flouting judge's orders and putting people back on planes. Need people at JFK! Pls amplifyhttps://t.co/WEBVeBcPbT
— DRUM (@DesisRisingUp) January 29, 2017
As immigrants and their families continue to contend with the great uncertainty and legal limbo following these actions, thousands of protesters have continued to demonstrate at major airports across the country.