GRAPEVINE (CBSDFW.COM) – Emotions have been running high for the past three days for families with detained loved ones after President Donald Trump’s travel ban. It was mostly calm at DFW International Airport Tuesday, but volunteer attorneys are prepared for another long day.
At least 10 people were held at the airport for several hours on Monday due to the travel restrictions, and one 34-year-old man in a wheelchair was still detained early Tuesday morning. He has since been released after 15 hours. He was held at the airport since about 3:00 p.m. on Monday afternoon.
That man’s name is Labeeb Ibrahim Issa, a spokesman said. He acted as a driver and maintenance worker for the U.S. Army in Iraq. Issa was injured by a car bomb while performing his duties, and was coming into the country on a special immigrant visa.
Despite the wait, Issa said Tuesday that he is incredibly grateful to be in the United States for the first time.
The actual number of detained travelers could potentially be higher. Attorneys only know about cases where family members were waiting for their loved ones to arrive. They do not have information on any travelers who may be arriving alone.
“These are people that are flying through international airports with legal papers to enter the United States,” said lawyer Chris Hamilton, who is leading a team of volunteer attorneys, “otherwise they wouldn’t be able to get on the plane.”
Four siblings celebrated after their mom — a Sudanese national — was released just before 10:00 p.m. Monday night. That was seven hours after her plane landed in North Texas. She had been in Abu Dhabi taking care of her husband with cancer. He has been waiting for five years to get a green card. The husband urged his wife to return to the United States now, in case she was not allowed back into the country later.
“She’s a lawful resident,” Hashim Hashim explained.
“She was really scared when I talked to her,” added Maryam Hashim.
Attorneys plan to assist anybody at the airport who is delayed by more than four hours, offering free help to those affected by Trump’s controversial executive action.