One of at least a dozen refugees has been released after being detained at Kennedy Airport. This comes after President Trump bans refugees from majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
Hameed Khalid Darweesh was one of at least two men who were airborne on a flight to the city, and later detained, when Trump signed his executive order yesterday.
Darweesh, was traveling with his wife and children when he was detained last night. He has a valid U.S. visa and was released Saturday afternoon.
"I want to thank the people that take care of me and they support me," Darweesh said after his release. "And they leave their family, their business and come to support me. This is the humanity. This is the soul of America. This is what pushed me to move, leave my country and come here."
Congressman Jerry Nadler said there are at least 11 other refugees currently being detained at the airport. It is unclear how many of the other detainees were on the same flight as Darweesh.
"One by one, street by street, if we gotta go to court, we will fight this any place anywhere," said Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez. But we will bring justice to the immigration system in this country."
The President says his executive order will keep out what he calls "radical Islamic terrorists."
Migrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations are barred from entering the United States for at least 90 days.
Refugees from war-torn Syria have been banned indefinitely.
The move is already sparking international backlash.
Iranian media reports the country will "retaliate" against the United States.
Velazquez, who represents parts of Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, and Nadler, who represents parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn — are at JFK airport in an effort to pressure the authorities to release the detainees.
Velazquez spoke to us by phone from the airport.