Rep. Nydia Velazquez says "we don't know" how many detained under Trump's executive order

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, who along with fellow New York Rep. Jerry Nadler went to John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday to release travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries who were refused entry under a sweeping executive order from Republican President Donald Trump, said in an interview they "don't know" how many people are currently being detained inside.

"We don't know," Velazquez told Mic's Jack Smith IV, later adding, "we have been in contact with the agents of the Border and Customs Patrol, but we don't know how many people are being detained and how many more are in flights coming in that will not be allowed to enter the United States."


Velazquez and Nadler secured at least one man's release from detainment: former U.S. Military translator Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who was subsequently allowed to enter the U.S.

"What it shows is the lack of clarity and guidelines from this executive order and how arbitrary the executive order is," Velazquez said. "Because one of them who we were able to get out, he came in with his family, his family was allowed to enter New York ... explain to me why and how."

"This is out of control," the representative concluded. "I feel sorry for the agents who work for Homeland Security because of the strain that it's putting on them and the fact that there's no uniformity and no guidelines."

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Tom McKay

Tom is a staff writer at Mic, covering national politics, media, policing and the war on drugs. He is based in New York and can be reached at tmckay@mic.com.

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