Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf, Sen. Bob Casey and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney were among hundreds who gathered at the Philadelphia International Airport Saturday night to intervene on behalf of immigrants who had been detained in the airport under President Donald Trump's executive order banning immigrants from entering the country from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Two Syrian refugee families – two brothers and their wives and children – were detained and then sent back to the Middle East. After crossing into Lebanon and boarding a flight from Beirut to Doha, Qatar, to Philadelphia, they were sent back to Doha.
On Friday afternoon, Trump suspended entry of all refugees for 120 days, blocked entry for Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocked entry for 90 days citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Family members waiting for their Syrian relatives to arrive in the U.S. told several news outlets that the relatives had green cards and visas legally obtained months prior.
Joseph Assali, an Allentown, Pennsylvania, resident, told NBC10 that his relatives are also Christian, pointing to the president's executive order that gives priority to Christians and other minority religions.
Late Saturday, a federal judge in New York put a temporary stay on Trump's order, barring the U.S. from deporting travelers targeted by the ban, the Associated Press reported. Several hours later, however, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said the court ordew won't impact the overall implementation of the immigration ban.
Another protest is planned for this afternoon outside Terminal A at the Philly airport.