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On Friday, January 27th, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to suspend the taking in of refugees for 120 days and to ban people from 7 Muslim-majority countries from entering the US. These “ban” countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
The ban extends to US green-card holders, permanent residents who are legally entitled to live and work in the country, and valid visa holders.
Since a couple of hundred people who hold citizenship or dual citizenship (except US dual citizens) to these countries were already in transit, they were detained in airports all across the US as soon as they landed. By some estimates, 109 travellers were detained after landing, 173 were turned away prior to boarding a plane to the US, an estimated 375 people in total were affected and 81 were waived by.
*Update: Dual citizens of Britain will also be allowed to enter.
Early on Saturday morning, a class action lawsuit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and later that day US District Judge Ann Donnelly stayed deportations of those who were detained. This doesn’t mean that the ban was reversed, it means that those being detained at the airport wouldn’t be sent back to another country.
Another startling trend that was emerging is the refusal to let lawyers contact any of the detained. Late on Saturday night, a federal judge, Leonie Brinkema, issued a temporary restraining order to allow lawyers to connect with the detained. It happened a little too late for a couple of brothers from Yemen who were already sent back and signed an I-407, a document releasing them of their green-cards. Allegedly, if they didn’t sign this form, they wouldn’t be allowed back in the US for 5 years. As of writing this, the brothers were in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in a kind of limbo.
And now we have things like #DeleteUber because app drivers started dishing out rides in place of protesting taxi drivers. Allegedly, the CEO also has some business ties with Trump, although details are still a bit blurry.
Luckily, there are a few things we can do right now to fight back.
*Contributed works do not directly reflect the opinions of The Informal Press.