UPDATE: According to The Hill, the federal court for the Eastern District of New York has issued an emergency stay, halting President Donald Trump‘s executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The stay allows detainees with valid visas who land in the U.S. to remain in the country.
A protest began at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City about noon Saturday demanding that refugees detained in the airport due to the immigration ban issued Friday by President Donald Trump be released.
News reports indicated 12 refugees were detained due to Friday’s ban. TheBlazereported that at least one of the refugees — an interpreter who had worked with American servicemen — had been released by Saturday afternoon.
According to Fox News, the fate of the other detainees was not known Saturday evening:
Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an Army interpreter in Iraq, had been stopped as he traveled with his wife and three kids when agents pulled him aside, according to the New York Times.
The fate of the other Iraqi detainee, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, 33, was unclear. So was the fate of 10 other refugees, whose nationalities were not immediately known.
Protestors alleged the detainees had visas and should be let through. Images of the protests began circulating on Twitter Saturday afternoon and the crowd had gone from about 10 people when the protest began to several hundred by Saturday evening.
Stunning scene at JFK airport pic.twitter.com/ZAwnYmELo8
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) January 28, 2017
According to Fox, a U.S. federal law enforcement official noted that any non-U.S. citizen from the seven countries listed in Friday’s ban — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen — is barred from entering the U.S. The official told Fox that includes green card holders and visa-holders out of the U.S. after Friday. They are prohibited from returning to the U.S. for 90 days.
The official also said there’s an exemption for those whose return is in the U.S. national interest.
The New York Times posted a video of the protestors who, by 7:30 pm Saturday evening, showed no signs of disbursing.