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House Democrats: ‘We must fight this executive order in the streets’

Protesters began assembling outside of JFK airport on Saturday. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

January 28, 2017

A pair of New York Democrats accused President Trump of issuing a “mean-spirited” executive order following the release of an Iraqi national who was detained upon arriving at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

“We shouldn’t have to demand the release of refugees one by one,” Reps. Nydia Velazquez and Jerrold Nadler said Saturday. “We must fight this executive order in the streets, in the courts, anywhere, anytime. We must resist. We must fight. We must keep working to keep America the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Protesters against the ban assembled outside of JFK airport on Saturday in a move advertised on Twitter by radical left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore. He proclaimed a “big anti-Trump protest” is “forming out of nowhere!”

Nadler and Velazquez said their advocacy on behalf of the U.S. government interpreter, who was detained upon arriving in New York, resulted in his release. “Thankfully, we did not sit idly by,” they said in the statement. “We demanded his release, and the release of the others who are being unlawfully detained. We are pleased to announce that Hameed Khalid Darweesh has been released and can now be reunited with his family.”

There are still 11 people at JFK airport, according to the lawmakers. They might still be allowed into the country. The order restricts travel from seven countries that have terrorist movements, but a State Department official told the Washington Examiner that Trump’s order doesn’t rule to the possibility of exceptions being made on a case-by-case basis.

Trump issued the order in order to create a 90-day window for reviewing the vetting process to ensure that federal officials have the ability to screen out potential terrorists from taking advantage of the refugee program. “The U.S. government’s national security visitor screening and vetting procedures are constantly reviewed and refined to improve security and more effectively identify individuals who could pose a threat to the United States,” the State Department official said in a statement. We welcome every opportunity to continue to review and improve our systems and procedures.”