Two members of the U.S. Congress joined refugee advocates and lawyers at New York's JFK airport Saturday to plead for the release of two Iraqis detained by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol following an executive order signed by President Donald Trump barring travel to the U.S. by citizens of seven Middle Eastern and African nations. Conway Gittens reports.
A confrontation at New York's JFK international airport, recorded by a Reuters correspondent. Two members of U.S. Congress, Jerold Naddler and Nydia Velasquez, attempting to gain access to two Iraqis detained by Customs and Border Patrol following an executive order signed by Donald Trump banning entry to the U.S. by passport-holders from seven predominately muslim countries. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) Reuters correspondent, saying: 'Congressman, Congresswoman, what is happening right now?' (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), saying: 'Congresswoman Velasquez and I are asking for access to the head of customs and border protection here, to find out why these refugees are being, number one why they're being detained, and number two, why they're being denied access to their attorneys.' The legislators are accompanied by lawyers from the International Refugee Assistance Program, who have filed a legal challenge to to Donald Trump's executive order. They claim their clients, who have ties to the U.S. military and were granted U.S. visas, are being unlawfully detained. One worked as an intrepreter during the AMerican war on Iraq. the second held a visa so that he could be reunited with his wife and son, already granted refugee status in the U.S. Trump's order bans Iraqis and citizens of six other middle eastern and african nations from traveling to the U.S. The video ends when a Customs and Border Patrol Agent orders the correspondent to stop recording.