At least four people were held at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Saturday following President Donald Trump’s executive actions restricting immigration, according to a local immigration attorney.
Sarah Owings, who chairs the Georgia-Alabama chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said the original four people who were reported detained Saturday afternoon have since been released. She added that others were in custody, though it was unclear how many.
A spokesperson for Atlanta’s airport deferred questions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment Saturday.
U.S. Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson were at the airport, although Lewis told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Customs agents would not give him details.
Trump signed an executive order Friday banning entry of people traveling to the U.S. from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for at least 90 days. It also paused the refugee resettlement program for 120 days, and indefinitely stopped resettlement of refugees from Syria.
Refugee resettlement agencies in the Atlanta area said they were expecting to resettle refugees who were scheduled to arrive in Atlanta next week.
J.D. McCrary, executive director of the International Rescue Committee in Atlanta, said the organization was expecting more than 30 clients next week.
Atlanta’s airport is currently not a “port of entry” airport for refugees, like JFK Airport in New York, McCrary said. He said refugees who come to Atlanta are coming from other airports that are “ports of entries,” but that the clients his organization were expecting on Monday most likely already started their route to the United States.
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