Vague Trump travel ban causes havoc in airports hours after implementation

MOSCOW — More than a dozen people have been prevented from boarding flights to the US despite holding valid US visas while others have been detained in US airports, as airlines try to comply with new travel restrictions.

US President Donald Trump’s executive orders halting all refugee entries and requiring any Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, Sudanese, Libyan, Somalian or Yemeni to be turned away at the border for the next 90 days will have disastrous consequences for legal US residents outside the country on for work or holiday travel.

Perhaps 500,000 legal US residents could be essentially barred from traveling or refused reentry to the country under the new regulations.

The vague language of what is being called the “Muslim ban,” which has it applying all “aliens” from those seven countries, means it could affect even legal green card holders, who are legal residents but still technically “aliens.”

At least five Iraqis and one Yemeni were prevented from boarding a flight from Cairo to New York January 28, despite holding valid US visas, and perhaps 500,000 legal US residents could be essentially barred from traveling or refused reentry.

The Middle East Eye reports that five Iraqis and one Yemeni national were prevented from boarding an EgyptAir flight to New York January 28.

They were all transit passengers and all held valid US visas. Despite that, they were redirected to flights to their home countries.

Other affected passengers were in the air as the order took effect. The New York Times reports that an Iraqi detained at JFK Airport had worked for the US government in Iraq for 10 years; the New York Daily News reports that multiple individuals who were in the air at the time the bans took effect were sequestered at US airports and told they had to return to wherever they’d come from, according to the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee. It is unclear how many people have been held or rerouted. PNA/