CHICAGO (CBS) – President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration created confusion and tension at O’Hare International Airport, with a dozen or more travelers detained by security personnel.
The president’s order suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days. It barred Syrian refugees indefinitely.
In addition, all citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are barred from entering the United States for 90 days.
Dozens of attorneys volunteered their time on Saturday for the International Refugee Assistance Project after U.S. Customs detained multiple airline passengers. The attorneys said they are prepared to represent anyone in need.
The Sun-Times reports that some of the detainees were eventually allowed to enter, and Rep. Jan Schakowsky was working to free the others.
Late Saturday evening a federal judge issued a ruling that allowed those trapped at the nation’s airports to enter the U.S., the New York Times reported.
However, some were not so fortunate.
It was an emotional day for 14-year-old Judy Ulayyet and her 17-year-old sister Maria. CBS 2’s Sandra Torres reports.
“I was really excited to see my aunt,” Judy said.
“My mom received a phone call from the airport telling her my aunt would not be able to come in,” Maria said.
Their aunt Sahara Algonaimi arrived Saturday morning at O’Hare International Airport, but before she could meet her nieces, U.S. customs detained her.
“This is an emergency trip,” Maria said. “She simply came here to visit her mother who is very sick.”
“She has a valid visa, has a return ticket with a return date for Saturday, a letter of support to visit her dying mom – all that documentation is now void as a result of a signature of a man overnight,” said Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR.
Algonaimi is not a refugee and has a Syrian passport, placing her under the 90-day ban.
“It is just really sad. It’s ridiculous,” Judy said. “She’s not even going to be here for that long. She’s not even a refugee. She has a stable home and family in Saudi Arabia. I don’t understand what the problem is here.”
Maria and Judy told CBS 2 their aunt was sent back to Saudi Arabia, the country where she currently resides. She was unable to see her sick mother.
Attorneys stationed at Terminal 5 said they plan to stay at O’Hare overnight, if necessary, to help families of detainees.
Protesters started to arrived Saturday evening at O’Hare International Terminal 5 to voice their concerns about the impact of President Trump’s executive order. The crowd–chanting “this is what democracy looks like”–blocked several lanes of traffic.