The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is defying a court-ordered temporary stay against President Donald Trump's executive order barring refugees and nationals from seven majority Muslim countries from crossing U.S. borders.
"The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people," a statement from the agency begins. "President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place — prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety.
"President Trump’s Executive Order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America's borders and national security."
Federal judges called the travel ban unconstitutional, but DHS maintains that "less than one percent of the more than 325,000 international air travelers who arrive every day were inconvenienced" while undergoing "enhanced security screenings."
"The Department of Homeland Security will faithfully execute the immigration laws, and we will treat all of those we encounter humanely and with professionalism," the statement continued. "No foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States."
Around 12 people were detained from entering the United States after landing in New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday, including Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an Iraqi who worked with the U.S. military for a decade, putting his life and the life of his family in peril.
“We have a moral obligation to protect and repay these people who risked their lives for U.S. troops,” Brandon Friedman, a former infantry lieutenant with the 101st Airborne Division, told The New York Times. Friedman worked with Darweesh in the field.
“There are not many Americans who have done as much for this country as he has,” Friedman added. “He’s put himself on the line. He’s put his family on the line to help U.S. soldiers in combat, and it is astonishing to me that this country would suddenly not allow people like that in.”