WASHINGTON — Virginia’s attorney general is demanding answers from the federal government regarding what happened at Dulles International Airport as President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration was implemented.
There is still a lot of confusion and unanswered questions about the situation that unfolded at Dulles, and Mark Herring said in a statement Wednesday that Virginia is seeking information from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Herring filed a motion in federal court asking for more details about whether people were detained. There were reports coming from the airport over the weekend suggesting that international travelers were being held and were not being allowed to speak with lawyers.
Herring said in the motion that he wants to know how many people were detained, whether they were removed from the country and whether they were denied access to counsel, The Washington Post reports.
He is also demanding to know whether Customs and Border Protection officials were instructed to ignore an order from a federal judge in Virginia who issued a ruling Saturday temporarily blocking the deportation of any green card holders who were being detained at Dulles.
The executive order that Trump signed Friday, Jan. 27, prevents citizens from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — from entering the U.S. for 90 days. It also suspends refugee immigration for four months.
On Tuesday, Herring announced that Virginia was joining a federal lawsuit challenging the president’s order, calling it “unlawful, unconstitutional and un-American.”
“President Donald J. Trump signed a sweeping, poorly understood and chaotically implemented executive order,” he said.
Virginia is intervening in a case that focuses primarily on lawful residents affected by the ban. Administration officials have since said that green card holders will routinely receive waivers from the executive order.
Herring argued that the ban is already hurting Virginians, saying some students at the state’s colleges and universities are currently unable to return. He declined to take questions from reporters, citing the pending legal action.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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