ATLANTA — Acting Attorney General Sally Yates issued a statement Friday evening saying the Justice Department will not be enforcing the newly signed immigration order by President Donald Trump.
The last of 11 people detained at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport were released Monday morning.
The executive order bans Syrian refugees from entering the U.S. indefinitely and puts a 120-day stop on all other refugees.
It also includes a 90-day ban on nearly all travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Channel 2’s Richard Elliot found some lawyers offering to help potential detainees and their families at the airport Monday.
One of those people looking for answers was Faisal Hafeez. He and his son Omar, 5, waited patiently at the customs gate for his wife and younger son, who are returning from their native Pakistan.
- Woman kills son, stabs daughter in front of grandchildren
- 7-year-old injured after police chase, crash
- Atlanta Braves player's wife, kids injured in fatal crash
Pakistan is not on the list of countries covered under President Trump's executive order. Still, it's something Hafeez and his wife talked about on the phone.
“She's a permanent resident, you know? She's not a citizen yet, but she's a permanent resident. She has a Pakistani passport. My son has an American passport.
Not far away from the U.S. Customs gates, a group of lawyers sat by signs offering free legal help for anyone detained by customs.
Customs temporarily detained 11 people in Atlanta over the weekend sparking peaceful protests.
Customs released the last detainee early Monday morning.
“We are here in case anyone gets detained. We're here to meet with that person and act as their attorney and file a writ of habeas corpus if necessary to release them from detention,” attorney Sydney Strickland told Elliot.
At the state Capitol, the chair of the House homeland security committee believes the president's executive order is necessary.
“If they're coming here as a, for whatever reason, they're coming into the United States, any and all people will need to be vetted to be sure they're not a threat to this country,” said State Rep. Alan Powell, R-Hartwell.
Hafeez understands the need for security, but wishes travelers had been given some notice of the ban so they could plan for it.
“They shouldn't just throw something out there when people are not ready for it,” Hafeez said.
U. S. Senator David Perdue sent a statement about the executive order Monday evening saying:
“We are at war with ISIS and our previous president refused to put a plan in place to deal with this threat. We know terrorist groups have identified our country’s refugee system as a weakness and have purposed to exploit this program to their advantage. The first responsibility of any American President is to protect American citizens. This temporary pause will allow DHS to ensure the vetting process is improved. America will always be a compassionate country, and President Trump is taking action to protect all of our citizens.”
The airport released a statement Monday about the weekend protests which read in part yesterday's protest of approximately 7,000 demonstrators resulted in zero arrests and zero injuries.
It was peaceful and overall had a very minor impact on our operations.
Cox Media Group