If they don’t like their treatment, they should call Mr Trump

Some people have been able to escape Trump’s gotcha, thanks to a court order, but others have not. Dahlia Lithwick on some details:

The two named plaintiffs in a Massachusetts lawsuit, Mazdak Pourabdollah Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam, both associate professors at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, were also allowed to leave Boston’s Logan Airport Saturday night.

But that isn’t the case for Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz and Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz. The two young men, citizens of Yemen and lawful holders of U.S. green cards, were refused entry to the United States at Dulles Airport on Saturday, and are now trapped in what their lawyer described as “Tom Hanks limbo” at the Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia.

People were detained at airports across the US yesterday.

Between 50 and 60 people were held at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, detained by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents. For most of the day they were forbidden [to meet] with their attorneys.

At about 9 p.m. Saturday night, Leonie Brinkema, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia, issued a temporary restraining order that expressly provided the U.S. government must “permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport.” Despite that order, throughout the evening it was reported that attorneys still hadn’t been let into the areas in which the detainees were being held by CBP. By about 1 a.m. Sunday, it appeared that all but one of the people they were holding had been allowed to enter the country, in part because Sen. Cory Booker went to Dulles at midnight and demanded that he be allowed to communicate with the detainees. That was around the time that Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, legal director of the Legal Aid Justice Center’s Immigrant Advocacy Program, found out that his two clients, the Aziz brothers, had been sent to Addis Ababa. They’re from Yemen.

The Virginia case wasn’t an ACLU one.

Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, together with Andrew Pincus and Paul Hughes of Mayer Brown LLP, filed the suit on behalf of the Aziz brothers, who are 19 and 21 years old. The two were stopped at Dulles yesterday, entering the United States from Yemen, on lawful green cards to which they are entitled by their U.S. citizen father.

Reports abound of lawful immigrants who have been turned away, denied access to medication, and prevented from speaking to counsel. The Aziz brothers’ story is particularly stunning because, says Sandoval-Moshenberg, not only were they handcuffed while they were detained by CBP at Dulles, and not only were they turned away and sent to Ethiopia, but they were also made to sign a form, known as the I-407. In doing so, they surrendered their green cards, under the threat of being barred from the U.S. for the next five years if they did not. Sandoval-Moshenberg tells me he couldn’t quite believe the two young men “were straight-up bullied into having their green cards taken away.” They were at no point given copies of any of the documents they had signed.

Security in Addis Ababa are holding their passports, so they can’t even go back to Yemen.

And immigration officials have told more than one detainee that if they don’t like their treatment, they should “call Mr. Trump.”

It’s going to be a long and bumpy road before we even begin to get clear on the scope and meaning of Trump’s executive action, and on the stories of the tens of thousands of people who did nothing more than get on an airplane. Lawyers at Dulles on Sunday tell me that CBP is simply refusing to answer any of their questions anymore. The smug cruelty of the DHS statement that “yesterday, less than one percent of the more than 325,000 international air travelers who arrive every day were inconvenienced while enhanced security measures were implemented” transcends belief as applied to actual people left in horrific limbo. For Tareq and Ammar Aziz, the fact that their lawyers scored a big win in Virginia on Saturday night doesn’t change the fact that they are in an airport in Ethiopia today, stranded without passports, and still do not have a home.

This has nothing to do with “enhanced security.”

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