At Least 27 People Detained or Sent Out of US Following Trump’s Executive Order

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- At least 27 passengers have been detained or sent out of the U.S. from four different airports across the country on Saturday following President Trump's executive order on immigration.

One of at least two Iraqis detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City has been released, according to New York officials. In all, 11 people were still detained at the airport, the officials said. Other passengers were detained or sent home from Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and Philadelphia International Airport, according to officials in those cities.

Hameed Jhalid Darweesh, the Iraqi freed from Kennedy Airport, left with New York Congressional Reps. Nydia Velazquez and Jerry Nadler, who joined more than 100 protesters that assembled there.

Court records confirm that a writ of habeas corpus was filed for Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq, the other Iraqi, in the Eastern District of New York, where the airport is located, and that Donald Trump was named as a defendant.

Darweesh expressed his gratitude for those who supported him while he was detained.

"First of all, I want to thank the people that take care of me and support me. They leave their family, their business and come to support me. This is what pushed me to move, to leave my country and come here. And I'm very, very thankful to all of the people who have come to support me," he said to reporters at the airport.

"America is the land of freedom," Darweesh said. "The land of freedom, the land of the rights. This is what brought me to come here, and I'm very thankful."

Neither Darweesh nor Abdulkhaleq are technically refugees according to the definition in the president's executive order but appear to have come to the U.S. on visas, a Trump administration official tells ABC News.

The executive order contains a caveat that allows certain individuals to be admitted to the country if there is a national security interest in doing so, and these two may be eligible for such an exemption, which must be agreed upon by the State and Homeland Security Departments, but the process by which this happens is unclear.

At least one person was detained at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Saturday, and it is expected that she will return to Saudi Arabia, according to the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Sahar Alghnimi, a Syrian woman who came to the U.S. on tourist visa to see her mother who had just undergone cancer surgery, was detained when she arrived from Saudi Arabia at 8:48 AM on Eithad Airlines, CAIR Chicago executive director Ahmed Rehab told ABC News.

Alghnimi had been to the U.S. several times before and has a valid visa, Rehab said.

In Philadelphia, two Syrian families were detained.

Mayor Jim Kenney issued a statement on Trump's executive order, suggesting that the detentions were carried out by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol.

In Dallas, nine people have been detained, according to a media representative of CAIR.

Ripple effects from the executive order are also being felt in multinational technology companies.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai circulated a staff memo, obtained by Bloomberg News, in which he criticized Trump's action and suggested that some of the firm's employees and their families could be affected by it.

Likewise, several colleges advised foreign students and scholars who might be affected by Trump's order to defer travel outside of the U.S. at least until there is more clarity on how the order may affect them.

Trump categorized the executive order as part of a vetting plan to prevent “radical Islamic terrorists” from reaching American soil.

The seven-page document calls for an immediate suspension of immigration from countries with ties to terror -- Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya -- for a time period of 90 days.

It also calls for the complete suspension of Syrian refugees for an indefinite period. It also calls on the secretary of state to suspend the entire U.S program for admitting refugees for 120 days while authorities review the application and adjudication process.

Green card holders, who are legal residents of the United States, also fall under Trump's executive order on immigration if they come from any of the seven Muslim-dominated countries from which immigration is temporarily banned, according to a senior administration official who spoke to ABC News.

Trump told the the Christian Broadcasting Network that Christian refugees would be given priority over Muslims in applications to come to the U.S.

"We are going to help them," Trump said of Christians in Syria.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.


Check Also


‘Pure joy,’ but concern, too, for family of formerly missing Tenn. student

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation(MEMPHIS, Tenn.) -- The brother of the Tennessee teen allegedly kidnapped by a former teacher says that now that she is finally back with her family, "she's like herself and in ways she's not."Elizabeth Thomas, 15, ...