Legal Immigrants Who Were on Flights to the US When Trump’s Executive Order Was Signed Have Been Detained

The President’s executive order on immigration, which imposes new conditions on entry for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, took immediate effect.

Google rushed to try to get 100 traveling employees home to the U.S. while the order was still in draft form.

“No one is really sure whether a green card holder from these seven countries can return to the U.S. now. It’s fairly clear that an H-1B visa holder can’t,” Benach said. The H-1B lets U.S. companies employ graduate-level workers from other countries in technical occupations such as technology, engineering and science.

There was no grace period, there were passengers who were legally headed to the U.S. when their flights took off but who – after the order was signed – became inadmissible to the United States.

Copyright: andreyuu / 123RF Stock Photo

One of those detained was a man coming to the U.S. from Iraq under fear for his life. He had worked for the U.S. government for 10 years. He was coming to the U.S. legally, having been granted a visa. His wife and children made it into the country, but he was detained and has been told he must return to Iraq where he had “been directly targeted twice for working with the United States military.”

Brandon Friedman, who worked with Mr. Darweesh as an infantry lieutenant with the 101st Airborne, praised Mr. Darweesh’s work. “This is a guy that this country owes a debt of gratitude to,” Mr. Friedman said. “There are not many Americans who have done as much for this country as he has. He’s put himself on the line. He’s put his family on the line to help U.S. soldiers in combat, and it is astonishing to me that this country would suddenly not allow people like that in.”

A policy of denying sanctuary to those who provide support to the U.S. military puts troops in danger in war zones.

“If those interpreters and those fixers hear that the United States is not going to protect them, then they don’t have any incentive to work with U.S. troops, and there’s no way that we can operate without their support and assistance.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. When those terrorists bombed people, drove a trunk over crowd….in Europe and US, did they give out any grace period?

    It’s about time to stop that crap. Way to go President Trump.

  2. Comment #51: Not off topic at all: Re the Superbowl, should I take Atlanta +3 or New England -3 ?

    I’m betting $27,500.

    Hint: Reading all these comments is starting to make my head hurt.
    BTW, does anyone know of a TV network that just reports the news, instead of giving every host their own show. I used to at least be able to watch Headline News until it turned into 24 hours of continuous “Forensic Files” episodes. At least HLN is potentially making me less likely to get caught committing murder…..which is likely if I keep reading the same comments rehashed in a different way.

  3. @J.C.

    A) Why the insult? No need for that, c’mon.

    B) Why are some of you saying you get pleasure from libbies whine? It makes you feel good to hear legitimate concerns from your fellow countrymen?

    C) I truly believe banning immigrants from these countries does not stop rapes/murders/terrorism. It did not for the terrorist attacks here in the US lately. That’s a counter to the Germany argument.

    D) The interment camp example is to show that even American citizens have been screwed by our govt. Using the “not one of us” argument has proven horrific in the past. There should be no “us” and “them”. Greencard holders, visa holders, naturalized citizens, local-born citizens are all “one of us”. What makes you any more “us” than the next person? Because your family was here three generations more? Didn’t work for Japanese Americans in the 40s. Not working for Iranian immigrants now. Stop thinking you’re any more american than them. It’s not “us and them”. We’re all people. And those people are getting screwed by these immigration laws.

  4. @Ian from TX – but none of the terrorists that have killed Americans came from the countries that are a part of the ban. Actual terrorists came from countries that AREN’T part of the ban. — Gary from TX.

  5. @Ian from TX:

    I agree. We shouldn’t give terrorists a grace period as they didn’t give us one.

    That works if the immigration ban is on terrorists.

    The problem is that it isn’t. It’s on people from certain countries. 99% of which are PhD students, fathers, American home-owners, normal citizens.

    Blanket-banning a religion/nationality is an ancient practice and wrong, can’t you agree? Humanity has progressed past that, no? How could you be okay with that?

    What if your family was banned from studying at Stanford or opening a business in Florida because of other Texan-born terrorists?

    It’d be wrong. And America doesn’t do that.

  6. I used to think traveling cured all type of ignorance, lack of empathy and compassion because it exposes one to other worldview. After reading some of these comments, guess I was wrong.

    @Gary don’t listen to the individuals warning you about leaping into politics and keep posting your stance against injustice and inhuman practices.

    New Yorker who remembers her parent were once immigrant and stigmatized for it…
    #noban #nowall

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