President Donald Trump's extremely controversial executive order limiting immigration and refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries has a lot of people, not just across America but across the world, in an uproar.
Border agents have since detained dozens of people who were trying to enter the country.
Even though Judge Leonie Brinkema of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia ordered the U.S. government to “permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport,” Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents still blocked attorneys from talking to the lawful permanent residents CBP detained, defying the judge’s order.
Virginia Congressmen Don Beyer and Gerry Connolly and Maryland Congressmen Jamie Raskin and John K. Delaney tried to talk to the airport authorities but failed in persuading them to give the stranded access to lawyers.
“We have a constitutional crisis today,” Beyer wrote on Twitter to share his outrage.
We have a constitutional crisis today. Four Members of Congress asked CBP officials to enforce a federal court order and were turned away.— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) January 29, 2017
"When you are not willing to answer questions, I can only conclude that you're violating law and in contempt of court," Connolly said. "I think it shows a special arrogance that somehow they think they're above the law."
“It is unusual for an agency to deny a court order — a court order clearly stating that these people need to be provided counsel,” Claudia Cubas, an attorney with Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition, said. “We asked several different agency heads to request access to speak to these people and were told ‘no.’”
“We aren’t getting any access at this point,” said Sara Dill, director of the American Bar Association’s standards project.
Trump promised during his campaign what he called "extreme vetting" to do more to protect Americans from terror attacks. He is now delivering on what he pledged.
But hope still prevailed as hundreds of protesters gathered at airports in Dallas, Chicago, New York, Seattle, Philadelphia and other cities to protest against the detainments.
This is what Democracy looks like at Dulles Airport pic.twitter.com/JEHF4Uqu5m— Rep. John Delaney (@RepJohnDelaney) January 29, 2017
Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Reed Hastings called it "a sad week," saying, "It is time to link arms together to protect American values of freedom and opportunity."
Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook sent a letter to his employees saying Trump's order was "not a policy we support" and promised to help affected employees.
"The blanket entry ban on citizens from certain primarily Muslim countries is not the best way to address the country’s challenges," said Elon Musk, founder of Tesla and SpaceX.
Starbucks also joined its voice with those who are fighting Trump’s immigration executive orders as CEO Howard Schultz promised to hire more refugees.
“There are more than 65 million citizens of the world recognized as refugees by the United Nations, and we are developing plans to hire 10,000 of them over five years in the 75 countries around the world where Starbucks does business,” he wrote. “And we will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for such support.”
But the president sees it in another light entirely.
"It's working out very nicely. You see it at the airports, you see it all over," he says.
"We're going to have a very, very strict ban and we're going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years."
The ban affects travelers with passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Green card holders will not be allowed back in until they are re-screened.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Shannon Stapleton