The fate of some 40 Atlanta-bound refugees is in limbo after President Donald Trump closed the U.S. border to all refugees trying to enter the U.S., the head of the local office of a refugee organization said Saturday.
The refugees were already on their way from Asia and Africa when the executive order was signed Friday afternoon, said J.D. McCrary, executive director of the Atlanta office for the International Rescue Committee. They are scheduled to arrive Monday.
“The question is, what’s going to happen to all the people who are already in the air, all of the people who are on the first or second leg [of their journeys]?” McCrary said. “We haven’t heard anything about that.”
The New York Times reported that two refugees who were on flights to the U.S. when the executive order was signed were stopped and detained at New York’s Kennedy Airport. Lawyers said one worked on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq for 10 years. The other was to reunite with his wife, who had worked for an American contractor, and their young son.
Trump’s executive order suspends all refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, and bars those from war-torn Syria indefinitely. It also blocks entry to citizens from seven Muslim nations.