Amid widespread protests, a federal judge blocked the deportation of travelers from Muslim-majority nations barred by Donald Trump’s executive order. Updated: 10:09 p.m.
Last Updated: 10:16 p.m.
A FEDERAL JUDGE in New York issued a nationwide temporary injunction, halting the implementation of part of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration on Saturday night, blocking the deportation of travelers with valid visas detained at airports in the past 24 hours.
Judge Ann Donnelly, a United States District Court Judge in Brooklyn, issued the ruling at an emergency hearing on a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups on Saturday, as Trump’s executive order temporarily banning citizens of seven nations with Muslim majorities from entering the U.S. took immediate effect.
The judge ruled that the government must immediately stop deporting travelers from those nations, including refugees who already went through a rigorous vetting process, and provide a complete list of all those detained, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project Lee Gelernt told reporters in Brooklyn.
WATCH: Immigrants rights attorney Lee Gelernt coming out of the court where the ACLU argued to block Trump's unconstitutional Muslim ban. pic.twitter.com/uuceRwT8jo— ACLU National (@ACLU) January 29, 2017
“This ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off U.S. soil,” Gelernt said.
Robert Howse, professor at New York University Law School, called the ruling “a pretty sweeping order,” but, he noted, it does not say that people in the U.S. have to be released from airport detention. “I think that’s a problem,” he said.
The ruling came after the detentions had sparked protests drawing thousands to airports across the country, including John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Boston’s Logan Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport.
JFK. pic.twitter.com/OZeLHuFuLZ— Josh Begley (@joshbegley) January 28, 2017
"No hate! No fear! Refugees are welcome here!" JFK #Jan28 pic.twitter.com/NzXPE56toR— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) January 28, 2017
Thousands of protesters at JFK, chanting "Let them in!" and "No hate no fear refugees are welcome here!" #MuslimBan pic.twitter.com/9SDiunzJDq— Robert Mackey (@RobertMackey) January 28, 2017
1000+ protesting inside and outside #chicago #ohare airport to fight #muslimban and say #refugeeswelcome pic.twitter.com/sTW7sQLrII— Alex Shams (@seyyedreza) January 29, 2017
Crowd has gotten huge, loud here at #seatacprotest pic.twitter.com/gCuNhQvB72— Lindsey Wasson (@lindseywasson) January 29, 2017
News of @ACLU victory/emergency stay reaches #SFO #MuslimBanprotest pic.twitter.com/A7ou6Ak07n— Vivian Ho (@VivianHo) January 29, 2017
From LAX, thank you @ACLU pic.twitter.com/rGh99q1vHH— Chris Baio (@OIAB) January 29, 2017
We will not allow a Muslim ban in the United States of America. Here's what I said at Logan Airport tonight. #NoBanNoWall pic.twitter.com/XqeS9Iy14e— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 29, 2017
Amazing, emotional scenes here at Dulles as some passengers finally unite with crying relatives surrounded by protestors welcoming them. pic.twitter.com/h8sW3LR75N— (((YousefMunayyer))) (@YousefMunayyer) January 29, 2017
People still gathered at Courthouse after federal judge grants ACLU's stay pic.twitter.com/qHIMfVBwkF— Ari Melber (@AriMelber) January 29, 2017
The pressure had already had limited effect, leading to the mid-afternoon release of one of the detainees, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an Iraqi refugee who was forced to flee his country after working for the U.S. military there. He was released after more than 18 hours in detention, during which he was separated from his wife and children. His release was due, in part, to the intervention of two Democrats who represent New York in Congress, Rep. Nydia Velazquez and Rep. Jerry Nadler.
Rep. @NydiaVelazquez at JFK Airport: "Mr. President, look at us. This is America. What you have done is shameful." https://t.co/o9ZkNFkI5Z pic.twitter.com/CvgJMDd5kP— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 28, 2017
One of the refugees, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, has been released pic.twitter.com/U1XHr4DaTt— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) January 28, 2017
Outside the international arrival terminal, Darweesh gave an emotional statement to reporters and protesters.
Iraqi interpreter released, excited to be with his family. He still loves America. pic.twitter.com/ZpeQ933d9d— Sebastian Murdock (@SebastianMurdoc) January 28, 2017
A second Iraqi, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, who had also cleared an arduous vetting process to obtain refugee status and was en route to be reunited with his wife in Texas, remained in custody.
Invade country on false pretenses...catalyse militancy/destabilisation in region...close doors to those fleeing the consequences. Seems fair— Aleem Maqbool (@AleemMaqbool) January 28, 2017
"Call more people, get them here and we will resist... We say Basta! Solidaridad!" - Carlos Menchaca, NYC Council chair of immigration comm pic.twitter.com/YjR4OPo9Iw— Chris Brooks (@chactivist) January 28, 2017
"Build the wall, we'll tear it down" pic.twitter.com/O5eBM5qnMI— Josh Begley (@joshbegley) January 28, 2017
Organizers of the protest called for more demonstrators to join them outside Terminal 4 as they continue to press for the release of all of those detained inside.
Among the protesters at JFK was Rebecca Vilkomerson, the executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace, who pointed out on Friday night that Trump had signed the order banning refugees fleeing war on Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Now at JFK #NoBanNoWall #RefugeesWelcome #NoMuslimBan pic.twitter.com/BPb5Ag7YdD— Rebecca Vilkomerson (@RVilkomerson) January 28, 2017
Trump’s order also bars legal permanent residents of the U.S. from returning home if they are now abroad, even though they already went through intense vetting procedures to get their green cards.
US government confirms Trump's order bans entry by permanent residents (green card holders): https://t.co/0Rq8nrZUGF pic.twitter.com/rf4lOIXbGm— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 28, 2017
People with a Green Card have already been vetted for almost 2 years before being granted residency.#MuslimBan #Iranian #Immigration— Farnaz Fassihi (@farnazfassihi) January 28, 2017
Real world impact of ban: I can't visit my dad with dementia in a home in Toronto at the moment. I'm his primary caregiver.— Hrag (@hragv) January 28, 2017
According to Trita Parsi, founder of the National Iranian American Council, border agents appeared unsure how to enforce the new regulations, detaining green-card holders in handcuffs and even questioning them on their views on Trump and social media posts.
At this point, US Border patrol appears to decide reentry for green card holders on case by case basis - incl questions re political views— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) January 28, 2017
I want to repeat: Green card holders were handcuffed, their social media was reviewed, and they were asked their views on Trump#MuslimBan— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) January 28, 2017
Iranian-Americans with legal visas were detained at several airports on Saturday.
Eighty-year old Iranian who landed 6 hours ago was just let out says: "Trump is America's Ahmadinejad" pic.twitter.com/yc7iO8B9FV— Sana Saleem (@sanasaleem) January 29, 2017
Rep. Johnson has joined Rep. Lewis in a peaceful vigil at the Atl airport as at least one more green card holder from Iran is detained. pic.twitter.com/oFdcrHvRVp— Jeremy Redmon (@JeremyLRedmon) January 29, 2017
This is a dark hour for America.— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) January 29, 2017