WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJZ) — While the courts deal with the president’s executive order, people are blocked from entering and are now reuniting with loved ones and getting legal help.
People across the country have been talking about that travel ban including right here at the U.S. Capitol Building. U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen says he has been working with legal residents as well as American citizens from Maryland who have been affected by that ban and he and his office will continue to make sure anyone who is legally allowed to be in the United States can get here.
They are the reunions now seen at airports across the country. The stories showing the outcome of a federal judge putting President Donald Trump’s travel ban on hold.
“We are very happy today, we finally have, I just can’t believe it,” says Asia Abinasir.
This 16-year-old along with her twin sister from Somalia, hadn’t seen their mother for several years and were denied entry into the country once president Trump signed the executive order.
“They told us we have to go back because we are Somali. We thought we would never see our mother again,” she says.
The travel ban blocked refugees and travelers from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
“They went through a year and a half of security checks, background checks, multiple interviews at the u.S. Consulate and finally their visas were issued in due course.”
U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen from Maryland says his office has personally received some 50 calls from Maryland residents associated with the travel ban.
“I called directly because of the privacy rights and I said look, I’m calling on behalf of the mom, she wants to know how her five-year-old son is doing,” says Senator Van Hollen.
The stories go on, including two brothers from Yemen who were two hours into their flight to Dulles International Airport in Virginia, when the executive order was signed by the president.
They were detained and then redirected to Ethiopia before returning to meet their father Monday after once the ban was put on hold.
“I’m so happy. I’m so glad. This is America. America is for everybody,” says the father.
“I just want to thank all the people who supported us, who waited with us. They made me feel like there is a family here,” says one of the sons.
Sen. Van Hollen says he will continue to work closely with Maryland families and pay attention to the upcoming Court of Appeals hearing
The travel ban is set to expire in 90 days, which means it could run its course before a higher court takes up the issue.