Trump Administration to Allow 872 Refugees to Enter U.S. This Week

Dozens of pro-immigration demonstrators cheer and hold signs as international passengers arrive at Dulles International Airport, to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order barring visitors, refugees and immigrants from certain countries to the United States, in Chantilly, Virginia, in suburban Washington, U.S., January 29, 2017. (REUTERS/Mike Theiler)

The Department of Homeland Security said Tuesday it will allow 872 refugees to enter the country after they were initially barred from flying to the U.S. under President Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Homeland Security began detaining immigrants arriving at U.S. airports immediately after Trump signed his order Friday evening. The order temporarily suspended the U.S. refugee program and barred entry to most people coming from seven majority Muslim countries – Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen.

By Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said it was detaining 109 people affected by the ban. DHS officials say all those people were cleared — either allowed to enter the country or returned to their home countries — by Sunday night. But civil rights groups and immigration advocates say people remained in custody at U.S. airports through Monday.

On Tuesday, Kevin McAleenan, acting commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), said more than 500,000 foreigners flew into the country in the 72 hours following Trump’s order. He said CBP agents granted waivers to 1,060 green card holders from the countries affected by Trump’s order, allowing them to enter the country after additional screening.

McAleenan said 75 waivers were granted to other visa holders, including people who had special visas intended for translators who have worked with the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he said 721 travelers were stopped from boarding planes in foreign countries headed for the U.S.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Alan Gomez