Report: Over 700 People Were Detained During the First Weekend of the Travel Ban

Photo: AP
Photo: AP

A list of 746 names of the people “processed or detained” during the first weekend of President Donald Trump’s xenophobic nightmare of a travel ban was released for the first time Thursday.


According to ABC News, the list contained all travelers affected, including those with refugee applications, visa holders and people from the seven Muslim-majority countries that the ban singled out who were legally authorized to enter the United States.

A letter from the Department of Justice states that the list includes “legal permanent residents,” as well as those who were “undergoing processing” by U.S. Border Control.

CNN reports that the list of names was released in compliance with a court order which is part of Darweesh v. Trump, the first federal case to challenge the ban. On January 28, a federal judge in Brooklyn granted a stay that halted the travel ban as a result of that emergency lawsuit filed on behalf of two Iraqi men by the ACLU and the National Immigrant Law Center. The names on the list are of people who were held after the stay was granted, ABC News reports: from “Jan. 28 at 9:37 p.m. —- when the Brooklyn judge halted part of the ban that allowed for deportations -— to Jan. 29 at 11:59 p.m.”

Still, this counts as a small victory. In a statement to CNN, ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said:

“We are pleased to finally get the names, though it took more than three weeks from (Judge Donnelly’s) court order. But we remain concerned that the list is incomplete and that it needs to be supplemented so we have information to find the affected individuals.”

Previous statements from the Trump administration greatly downplayed the number of people held over the course of the weekend when the travel ban went into place. On January 30th, Donald Trump hopped on Twitter to blame the shaky, chaotic rollout of his executive order on a massive Delta Airlines computer outage, saying that only 109 people were detained country-wide.


With the official list now released from the Department of Justice, some things are clear: the Trump administration was either lying or they had absolutely no idea what they were doing and how their actions would affect hundreds of people across the country they purport to serve. No real surprise, there.

Senior Writer, Jezebel



I was at an overseas airport where CBP was pulling people off of their connecting flights and telling them they had to rebook back to their point of origin rather than continue to the US. I spent a week with a group of affected passengers who were detained in this manner in the airport before some decided to go back to their point of origin, while others refused (long story that I won’t get into so as not to dox myself here). At the airport where I was, unverified, but reliable numbers were that around 30 people returned to their point of origin before we (US lawyers) were able to get to the airport. Again, of those we were able to get in contact with, the majority chose to go back rather than remained detained in this manner in the transit area of the airport (it should be pointed out that because this was a connecting flight location, none of the people I was assisting were able to enter the connecting airport country because their visa was for the US, not that country- so they were literally unable to go anywhere, except remain in the airport international connecting flight waiting areas).

These people are not included on this list. Again, CBP was in overseas airports doing this. It was not the airlines or officials of the airport country doing this- it was US government officials removing people from boarding lines, meeting them as they deplaned, demanding their passports, questioning them, and telling them they would not be allowed on flights despite their valid visas, green cards, etc.

I can only say what happened in one overseas airport. This happened all over the world. We worked with as many of the people who went back to their point of origin once the TRO came down to get them rebooked, but this is only a small number of those who were affected. To repeat again (sorry, but I think this is important to stress!)- these people are not included in these numbers, despite the fact that they meet all of the criteria.