People from Muslim countries were reportedly being detained at JFK and other U.S. Airports this evening. Nearly a dozen lawyers gathered inside Terminal 4 to offer pro-bono assistance to detained travelers and protests are breaking out at several major airports.
Lawyers say dozens of travelers from countries named in President Trump’s recent executive order were held at John F. Kennedy International Airport and other airports Saturday amid confusion about whether they could legally enter the country.
A group of lawyers from New York Law School’s Safe Passage Project has been posting updates on facebook.
Updates from the post by Justin Meeks:
Update: Lawyers are filing petitions from the floor. Literally laptops while sitting on the floor.
Update 2: MASS amounts of protestors have gathered at Terminal 4. ALL of them have been peaceful. ZERO arrests.
Update 3: Habeas corpus hearing is underway at Cademan Plaza Courthouse in Brooklyn. Obama appointee, Judge Ann Donnelly is presiding. Protestors are now there AND still packing the airport. This is history.
Update 4: Port Authority is asking lawyers what they are doing here. Response from one lawyer: “Waiting on my client.” PA: “Are this many lawyers necessary?” Lawyer: “Yes.” PA: “How long will you be here?” Lawyer: “As long as we have to be.” PA: “All night?” Lawyer: “I will sleep here on the floor if I have to.” – This woman, who I will not name at this time, is my hero.
Update 5: A Christian, Syrian family has been deported from the Philadelphia airport.
Update 6: People with VALID VISAs were bullied into retuning to the countries they came from. They were told that if they persisted on interning the U.S., their VISAs would be suspended for 5 years. They did NOT receive legal counsel NOR were they told that they should seek legal counsel. This is disgusting.
Update 7: I have received requests to make this post public so that it can be shared and people who are not friends on my page can stay updated. I have done so.
Update 8: So many people have been detained that a template for habeas petitions has been created and is being shared among the attorneys here.
Update 9: Habeas hearing is underway in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York. ACLU attorneys are arguing for the detainees.
Update 11: Approx. 70 people were allowed into the court room for habeas hearing. Hundreds outside.
Update 13: Lawyers are now on the ground at LAX, Phil, D.C., Chicago, and some in Newark. More are needed in Newark. The operation is very small.
Update 14: Some detainees were asked their opinion of President Trump before being detained.
Update 15: A Yemeni woman who was held for six hours by CBP has been deported. Her nephew was waiting at JFK. She was allowed no communication.
Update 17: THE ACLU WON THE STAY!!!!!!! It will apply NATIONALLY!!!!!! The detained individual in the law suit will be released and the court will order the release of all detainees! Thank God. Awaiting the court order.
Update 18: Under the court order by Judge Donnelly – No one currently detained may be deported. Everyone who is here and in custody stays, for now.
Update 19: An attorney just attempted to speak with CBP official. Attorney was told “I can’t talk to you, I’m sorry it’s coming from up too.” Attorney: “Can you at least give us numbers?” CPD: “No, I can’t tell you anything.”
Update 20: Stay order ONLY covers those currently detained. Anyone else who attempts to come tomorrow will not be allowed to enter. Possibly 200-300 currently caught in limbo.
Update 21: There will be a protest in Battery Park in NYC tomorrow. Starting at 12:30 p.m.
Update 22: One of our lawyers has obtained a picture of the Eastern District’s order. I will post it in the comments below.
Update 23: Lawyers are being told that DOJ and the White House aren’t responding to CBP inquiries about the order.
Update 25: Airport action has grown to the following airports: So far, airport actions happening at: JFK, Dulles, LAX, Atlanta, BOS, SFO, O’Hare, Philly, Detroit, Denver, Newark, Seattle.
Update 26: TO BE CLEAR! This order is ONLY a stay of removal for those currently detained. It DOES NOT block the entirety of President Trump’s EO as is being reported in the media. That is not correct.
Update 27: A woman from Syria who has a legal green card and had boarded a plane for deportation, has been removed from the plane just before take off.
Update 28: Doughnuts have arrived, much good news tonight.
Update 29: Lawyers at JFK are about to present the order to CBP (Customs and Border Patrol). Still no word on number or names of detainees.
Update 30: Air Bnb is offering free housing to refugees who were blocked from entering U.S. Contact them for details.
Update 31: JFK CBP is refusing to read the order. Lawyers were given a 1-800 CBP hotline to call.
Update 32: Court order is a big win, but the fate of detainees still hangs in the air. This is not even close to over.
Update 33: Attorney for the government, in argument against the stay, told the ACLU that they could not release the names of detainees because “that’s harder than it sounds.” Justin calls bullshit.
Update 34: Attorneys at O’Hare are being told by CBP that all detainees will be released. Still no word for us here at JFK.
Update 35: An attorney has continued to reach out to JFK CBP to get an answer about detainees. No answers given. She asked to speak to a supervisor and was him up on.
Update 37: Since phone calls have been ineffective, lawyers are marching paper copies of the court order to CBP in hopes of getting detainee information/release. This. Is. Not. Over.
Update 38: Upon failed attempts to get detainee information, some lawyers are leaving terminal 1 to join the protest at terminal 4. They want to stay close and others are staying here in case detainee access/information granted.
Update 39: Attempts to hand deliver the order to CBP have failed. They literally won’t even answer their office door for the lawyers now.
Update 40: Last flight into JFK tonight will be at 11:30 p.m. Will not he from a country mentioned in the EO. However, still no attorney access granted to anyone currently detained and CBP refuses to even use the term “detained.”
Update 41: Tonight looks like a win to protestors, activists, and media. Lawyers around me were happy when order was released, but it seems more likely a temporary and hollow win because the detainees aren’t getting counsel and the stay isn’t permanent.
Update 42: Detainees at DFW are being released!!! Still no word on JFK.
Update 43: One of the detainees was confined to a wheelchair. Detained regardless. Also, woman sitting next to me just spoke to her mother on the phone. Her mother is one of the detainees here at JFK. It seems SOME phone calls may be being allowed. Still no access to counsel.
Update 44: Another attorney made another attempt at CBP 1-800 number. She was informed that CBP is aware of the order, supervisors are aware of the order, and was told that if she continued to call it would be harder to process.
Update 45: Lawyers in terminal 7 believe NO JFK detainees will be released tonight. They are camping out regardless.
Update 46: Lawyers in terminal 4 also took a copy of the order to CBP. They were turned away. Lawyer asked if CBP had a copy of the order. CBP responded that they had everything they needed. Lawyer asked if that meant the order and was met with the same response.
Update 47: One of the lawyers is now on the phone with the LA Times. They called the daughter of one of the detainees to get to us. Keep. Sharing. What you’re doing is working!
Update 48: DHS is saying that NO detainees will be put on planes tonight. CBP is also saying that no one should be put on a plane due to court order, however they are still looking into the situation.
Update 49: All detainees are being transferred to terminal 4. Moving there now from terminal 1. Still no word on whether anyone will be released tonight.
Update 50: CBP has been served he order of petition. NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs is here and assisted.
Update 51: Moving terminals and possibly doing actual work so updates may come more slowly. Media calls are happening. What you are doing is working. Stay with us. Even if updates come more slowly, I am here. I’m not leaving until the detainees get to.
Update 52: Hearing that CPB at SFO, LAX, and IAD are also not releasing detainees.
Update 53: Now at terminal 4. Still no release of detainees. But taking to some of the lawyers here. VERY few are coordinated or here on firm’s behalf. Most are just using their legal powers for good. Haven’t met before today. This gives me hope in my profession and my country.
More to come.
At 6 PM Taxi Drivers at JFK Airport went on Strike and the line was reported to be empty.
Protests are reported to be taking place at airports all across the country
For now, a federal judge tonight granted the American Civil Liberties Union’s request for a nationwide temporary injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in U.S. airports under President Trump’s new Muslim ban.
According to Justin Meeks, “Stay order ONLY covers those currently detained. Anyone else who attempts to come tomorrow will not be allowed to enter. Possibly 200-300 currently caught in limbo.”..”The order is ONLY a stay of removal for those currently detained. It DOES NOT block the entirety of President Trump’s EO as is being reported in the media. That is not correct.”
A copy of the stay can be found here.