News has emerged that 71 individuals from 20 countries – most of which were not on the U.S. travel blacklist – were detained Tuesday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, the Asian Correspondent website reported.
Those detained, according to No Ban JFK, a coalition of volunteer attorneys camped out at JFK, include a Malaysian and a Chinese national, as well as travelers from Turkey, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, France, Algeria, Jordan, Qatar, Senegal, Switzerland, Algeria, Egypt and Guinea.
Others in the lawyers’ list released on social media include travelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan and Libya, five of the seven countries named in Trump’s ban. The remaining two are Yemen and Somalia.
Camille Mackler, Director of Legal Initiatives at the New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), pointed out in a statement that the detentions prove the ban affects more than just the seven targeted countries.
“And the turmoil inflicted by this sudden disruption is spilling over into the broader United States, as family members desperately seek to reunite with their loved ones.
“Students and professionals continue to be blocked from their homes, schools and workplaces,” she said in the statement released by No Ban JFK.
She added that the attorneys at JFK have stayed put since Trump issued the executive order on Friday, offering legal assistance to those caught in the U.S. government’s immigration dragnet.
“We are especially concerned with individuals being prevented from boarding flights at points of departure,” Mackler said.
The team of pro-bono lawyers and volunteers at JFK are being coordinated by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and NYIC. (Colombo Gazette)