“This is something that is very worrisome,” Johnson continued. “It appears to be a policy put in place without adequate study. So we have got chaos.”
A 76-year-old with a heart condition and glaucoma was among those who were detained after returning from Iran, said her daughter, who cited privacy reasons in asking not to be identified.
“That’s not right,” Lewis said of the woman’s detention. “That’s not fair. We can treat human beings better.”
At first, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official would not say how many were being held, Lewis said. So Lewis turned to a gathering crowd of activists and attorneys at the airport and declared: “Why don’t we just sit down and stay a while.” Eventually, an immigration official invited Lewis and Johnson into an office for a discussion.
Lewis said he sees parallels between Saturday’s events and the Civil Rights era, when he marched in Selma.
“This is America,” he said. “We can do much better.”