Several House Democrats are planing to bring people affected by President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban to his first speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday (28 February). The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Monday (27 February) that several of its clients would attend the address.
In its announcement, the ACLU identified five Democrats who will invite people who were affected by the ban. Two of the guests were detained at airports despite having valid visas to enter the country.
Representative Judy Chu of California is set to bring Iranian graduate student Sara Yarjani, who was detained for 23 hours at Los Angeles International Airport and later deported. Yarjani, who is in the US on a valid two-year student visa, was allowed to return a week after her 28 January deportation, The Hill reported.
New York Representative Nydia Velázquez will bring Hameed Darweesh as her guest, the ACLU said. Darweesh, an Iraqi who served as an interpreter for the US military during the Iraq War, was detained for 18 hours at New York's John F Kennedy International Airport and denied entrance despite holding a visa.
Representative Jim Langevin of Rhode Island plans to bring Muslim-American immigrant Dr Ehsun Mirza, according to The Hill. Illinois Representative Jan Schakowsky will host Suzanne Akhras Sahloul of the Syrian Community Network, while Washington Representative Pramila Jayapal will host Aneelah Afzali of the American Muslim Empowerment Network (AMEN).
Trump's executive order temporarily banned travellers from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the US. The 27 January order also blocked refugees from Syria from entering the US for 120 days.
The travel ban was quickly challenged by several states and was ultimately blocked by a federal judge in Washington on 3 February. A San Francisco-based appeals court upheld the temporary restraining order against the ban.
The Trump administration has vowed to sign another executive order on immigration, possibly as early as this week. "The next order, I think we should, we should have it out probably middle of this week ... and we'll have further updates as we get through the schedule," White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during the Monday daily briefing.
According to Politico, Spicer's announcement came moments after a federal appeals court turned down the Justice Department's request to stop the filing of briefs on an appeal on the original order.