New Yorkers Denounce Detention of Iraqi Refugees at JFK Airport Under Trump Muslim Ban

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Javier H. Valdés. Photo: Twitter

Today New Yorkers were shocked to wake up to the news that two Iraqi refugees, Hameed Khalid Darweesh who worked as an interpreter for the US during the Iraq War, and Haider Sameer Abdulkaleq Alshawi are being held at John F. Kennedy Airport under President Trump's ban on refugees and under the Muslim ban.

Javier H. Valdés, Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, issued the following statement on behalf of the organization's 20,000 members:

"Mr. Darweesh and Mr. Alshawi are America. Just like so many of our own families, they and their families have come to this country fleeing violence and threats to their lives. They seek a better life. It is part of this nation's core principles to welcome them. It is disgraceful that President Trump's new policy has separated them from their children. He must reverse course immediately and let them go."

Rep. Nydia Velázquez went to JFK International Airport with other local elected officials seeking to find facts and intervene on behalf of refugees detained at the airport by American immigration officials. Rep. Velázquez issued the following statement:

"What is happening at JFK International Airport right now is an affront to American values. This harkens back to a previous dark episode in our nation's history when we turned away Jewish refugees seeking safe harbor from the horrors of Nazism.  I will not and cannot stand idly by as the Trump administration begins repeating such unconscionable acts."

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