Trump defends his controversial ‘Muslim ban’ on Twitter


Donald Trump has refused to back down and instead reiterated his belief that America needs to strengthen its borders – just hours after thousands protested against his controversial immigration executive order banning people from specific countries entering the US.

The president fired up his Twitter account on Sunday morning and wrote: ‘Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world – a horrible mess!’

He then took aim at the New York Times, which featured a story about the protests against Trump at airports across the country, on Sunday morning.

‘Somebody with aptitude and conviction should buy the FAKE NEWS and failing @nytimes and either run it correctly or let it fold with dignity!’ Trump raged. 

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Trump (pictured speaking with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull Saturday) made several phone calls with world leaders from Japan, Germany, Russia and France while the crisis unfolded

Trump tweeted on Sunday morning about the ‘need’ for ‘strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW’. The message came after massive protests on Saturday

The comments came after Homeland Security said a temporary stay granted by a federal court will not stop Trump’s immigration ban from being put in place.

The agency said the court order affected a relatively small number of travelers who were inconvenienced by security procedures upon their return.

One of those people ‘inconvenienced’ was an 88-year-old blind man, who was detained for hours and had his medication taken from him at Dulles Airport in Virginia, the Daily Beast‘s Betsy Woodruff reports. 

‘President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place— prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the US government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety,’ a statement read.

Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to the White House, also dismissed the stay order, saying nothing in it: ‘in anyway impedes or prevents the implementation of the president’s executive order which remains in full, complete and total effect.’

Donald Trump was also annoyed by the New York Times on Sunday morning, with the newspaper featuring news of the protests prominently on its front page (right)

Trump called on the historic newspaper to be sold, and continued his war on information and the press by dubbing it, ‘fake news’

One of the people detained on Saturday was an 88-year-old blind man, who was held for hours and had his medication taken from him at Dulles Airport in Virginia, the Daily Beast ‘s Betsy Woodruff reports

On Saturday night, the federal court for the Eastern District of New York issued the stay Saturday evening after only two of 12 refugees held at JFK airport were released. They had been held for 14 and 24 hours respectively.

Migrants around the country were detained, with about 375 travelers impacted by the order. 

Out of the 375, 109 were in transit to the US and denied entry. Another 173 people were stopped by airlines from boarding an aircraft to the US. 

An additional 81 travelers with green cards or special immigrant visas received waivers.

People protested across the country on Saturday, including in New York where a massive demonstration carried on through Saturday evening as 10 out of 12 refugees remained held at JFK airport


Ban refugee entries from all countries for 120 days. Refugees can be accepted on case-by-case basis, including if they are a religious minority facing religious persecution

Block refugee entries from Syria indefinitely.

Cap refugee intake at 50,000 per year.

Ban visa and immigration entries for 90 days from Muslim-majority countries on banned list, including Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

Suspend visa issuance to countries of particular concern.

The stay issued Saturday evening blocks the situation pending a permanent ruling. 

The ACLU lawyers who handled the case have also filed a motion for class certification, which means other people affected by the order will be able to benefit from the stay as part of a class action. 

As a result, travelers cannot be deported back to their home countries, but it does not force authorities to allow them into the US. 

Trump’s ban affects citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The temporary stay also protects refugees with an approved case.

It is unclear what will happen to those detained. A later court date has been set for February.

Thousands of people were seen protesting at airports across the country, including New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and more.

‘I hope Trump enjoys losing. He’s going to lose so much we’re going to get sick and tired of his losing,’ ACLU national political director Faiz Shakir told Yahoo News

Lawyers also headed to airports to volunteer to help those who were being detained. 

President Donald Trump on Saturday defended his executive order barring refugees and citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country

The federal court for the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency stay (pictured) Saturday evening. The stay means that none of the travelers detained in airports around the country can be deported


Any non-US citizen from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia or Yemen is now barred from entering the United States.

That covers visa-holders from those seven countries who were out of the United States after Friday, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order with the temporary ban. They cannot return to the US for 90 days.

There’s an exemption for immigrants and legal permanent residents whose entry is in the US national interest, but it’s unclear how that exemption will be applied.

Visa holders already in the US will be allowed to stay.

Customs and Border Protection is notifying airlines about passengers whose visas have been canceled or legal residents scheduled to fly back to the US Airlines are being told to keep them off those flights.

Source: Associated Press 

‘This ruling preserves the status quo and ensures that people who have been granted permission to be in this country are not illegally removed off US soil,’ deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, Lee Gelernt – who argued the case, said.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D Romero added: ‘Clearly the judge understood the possibility for irreparable harm to hundreds of immigrants and lawful visitors to this country.

‘Our courts today worked as they should as bulwarks against government abuse or unconstitutional policies and orders. On week one, Donald Trump suffered his first loss in court.’

It followed reports that Muslim-majority countries with ties to Trump’s business empire have been excluded from the order, Bloomberg reports.

Statistics show Trump doesn’t have any business relations with the seven black-listed countries, but does with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Turkey.

Speaking on Saturday afternoon, Trump defended his policy – hours before protesters and lawyers across the country fought against it.

‘It’s not a Muslim ban, but we are totally prepared,’ Trump told reporters in the Oval Office Saturday afternoon, according to The Hill.

‘It’s working out very nicely. You see it in the airports, you see it all over. It’s working out very nicely and we are going to have a very, very strict ban and we are going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years.’

Reports of people being detained came from all around the US on Saturday. ‘They’re literally pouring in by the minute,’ director of the International Refugee Assistance Project Becca Heller told the New York Times.

A crowd of protesters gathered on Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza Saturday night, outside of the federal court for the Eastern District of New York that issued the stay

Protesters rallied in Brooklyn outside of the federal courthouse, which blocked Trump’s order temporarily Saturday evening

Demonstrators rallied outside the courthouse Saturday night as a judge granted the emergency stay protecting the detained travelers from deportation

‘No ban’: Demonstrators at the massive rally in Brooklyn voiced their disagreement with Trump’s executive order


A senior Homeland Security official told Reuters that roughly 375 travelers affected by the order.

Out of the 375, 109 were in transit to the US and denied entry. Another 173 people were stopped by airlines from boarding an aircraft to the US.

An additional 81 travelers with green cards or special immigrant visas received waivers. 

The ACLU gave an estimate comprised between 100 and 200 people.  

New York City/JFK: 12

Dallas/Fort Worth: 50

Dulles International: 50

Los Angeles International: 50

Seattle–Tacoma: 13

Atlanta: 11

Chicago: 13 

About 50 people were held at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, USA Today reported. Fifty people were also detained at Dulles International Airport, where protesters gathered. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring have said the state could take legal action against the ban.

One Yale student said he would be unable to attend the prestigious Ivy League university. Another student from the Massachusetts Institute Of Technology said he was barred from boarding a plane.

A Stanford University student, a Sudanese national and legal permanent resident with a green card, was held for eight hours at JFK before being able to return to California.

An Iranian scientist was meant to fly to Boston to study cardiovascular medicine at Harvard but has now had his visa suspended indefinitely.  

‘This outstanding young scientist has enormous potential to make contributions that will improve our understanding of heart disease, and he has already been thoroughly vetted,’ Professor Thomas Michel, who was going to supervise the student, told The New York Times. 

Up to 13 people were detained at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, KUOW reported. Eleven people were held at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. Thirteen were detained at Chicago O’Hare according to the Chicago Tribune. At least 50 Iranians were held at Los Angeles International Airport, the LA Times wrote. 

An official spokesman said Sunday UK leader Theresa May does ‘not agree’ with Trump’s order and will challenge the US government if it has an adverse effect on British nationals. May is pictured in the Oval Office with Trump this week

A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said the German leader believes the Trump administration’s travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries is wrong. Merkel is pictured on January 28

Mehdi Radgoudarzi (left) greeted his wife Susan (right) after being detained for five hours upon his arrival from Tehran, Iran at San Francisco’s SFO International Airport


The emergency stay issued Saturday evening by a federal court is a temporary measure that preserves the status quo pending a permanent ruling.

It means that none of the travelers currently held at airports across the nation can be deported back to their countries.

That is because Judge Ann Donnelly ruled that doing so would cause the travelers irreparable harm.

The stay does not, however, mean that the travelers have to be let into the United States.

It is unclear what will happen to those detained.

The stay is not a ruling on Donald Trump’s executive order enforcing the immigration ban.

Lawyers had filed a petition on behalf of two out of 12 refugees detained at JFK airport.

The men, two Iraqi nationals, had valid visas. One of them had worked for the US government for years.

ACLU attorneys had filed a petition on their behalf, but the stay is effective nationwide.

The lawyers who handled the case have also filed for class certification, which means other people affected by the order will be able to benefit from the stay as part of a class action.

Two families of six from Syria were also impacted. One was supposed to relocate to Cleveland, Ohio, after having to flee their home in 2014. But their trip was canceled.

Another family of six from the war-torn country was detained at Philadelphia International Airport Saturday morning even though they had required legal documents and approved green cards and visas.

Plane passengers were turned away in Dubai and Istanbul, including at least one family who got ejected from a flight. 

Hameed Khalid Darweesh, one of the Iraqi refugees, was detained for 14 hours in New York and released on Saturday afternoon. The second detainee, Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, was released around 7 pm on Saturday after 24 hours.

Darweesh, 53, had arrived in America on a flight from Istanbul on Friday night, just hours after Trump implemented the immigration ban.

He had worked for the US government in Iraq for 10 years as a translator, engineer and contractor and had a valid special immigration visa to relocate to America.

Alshawi, 33 – who was approved for a visa on January 11 – was flying to America to join his wife and son in Texas. ‘I’m sleepy and tired and exhausted,’ he told the New York Post after being released Saturday.

Darweesh pumped his fist in the air outside the airport following his release, as a crowd of supporters cheered him on.

‘First of all I want to thank the people that take care of me and support me. This is the humility, this is the soul of America,’ he told a crowd gathered outside the airport.

‘This is what pushed me to move – leave my country and come here. America is the land of freedom… America is the greatest nation, the greatest people in the world.’

He was travelling with his wife and three children at the time but they were not detained. They were heading to Charlotte, North Carolina to start their new life in America. 

Radgoudarzi (center) made his way through the arrival pick up area with his wife Susan (left) and daughter Niloofar (right) after being detained at San Francisco’s SFO International Airport as a result of Trump’s order

Mazdak Tootkaboni is pictured being embraced during a demonstration at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. Tootkaboni is a US green card holder from Iran and a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth, but he was still separated from other passengers and questioned

A female veteran held a sign reading ‘We thought we were helping, sorry’ at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Ten other refugees were still being held at JFK airport.

Republican lawmakers have spoken out against Trump’s immigration ban. Senator Chris Murphy tweeted: ‘To my colleagues: don’t ever again lecture me on American moral leadership if you chose to be silent today.’ He later called the emergency stay a temporary victory.

Representative Charlie Dent also spoke out against Trump’s order.

‘This is ridiculous,’ he told the Washington Post. ‘I guess I understand what his intention is, but unfortunately the order appears to have been rushed through without full consideration. You know, there are many, many nuances of immigration policy that can be life or death for many innocent, vulnerable people around the world.’

Yolanda Roa, a Latina Muslim, joined the protest to denounce Trump’s executive order at Dallas-Fort Worth International

Demonstrators gathered in the international arrivals area at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to protest on Saturday

Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney (middle) alongside Councilwoman Helen Gym (left) and Representative Bob Brady, addresses a crowd of protestors inside the Philadelphia International Airport

Representative Justin Amash questioned whether the measure was legal.

‘It’s not lawful to ban immigrants on basis of nationality,’ he tweeted. ‘If the president wants to change immigration law, he must work with Congress.’

Senator Ben Sasse said that Trump was right to focus on border control, but said the president’s order was is ‘too broad’.

‘If we send a signal to the Middle East that the US sees all Muslims as jihadis, the terrorist recruiters win by telling kids that America is banning Muslims and that this is America versus one religion,’ he said. ‘Our generational fight against jihadism requires wisdom.’ 

Police stopped a man giving pizza to protesters who were chanting slogans outside Terminal 4 at JFK airport in New York City

The protest followed Trump’s executive order barring refugees and citizens from seven countries from entering the US

Port Authority Police Department blocked an entrance as protesters gathered outside Terminal 4 at JFK airport

Trump’s ban puts a 90-day pause on visas and immigration from seven countries including Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. 

The order also puts a 120-day ban on all refugee entries into the country and declares that refugees from Syria are not welcome until further notice.

After that period of time, refugees will be accepted only from countries that the State and Homeland Security Departments decide are safe to work with. 

Backlash against the ban continued to grow internationally on Sunday morning, with British Prime Minister Theresa May joining other leaders in criticizing Trump. 

A sea of protesters gathered outside of Terminal 4 of JFK after people from Muslim countries were detained at border control

Protesters held a massive rally at New York City’s JFK airport Saturday after 12 refugees were detained due to the ban

The protest at John F Kennedy International Airport carried on through Saturday as people remained detained

‘This is illegal’: Demonstrators gathered outside JFK Saturday for a long protest after 12 refugees were detained inside

An official spokesman said Sunday that May does ‘not agree’ with Trump’s order and will challenge the US government if it has an adverse effect on British nationals.

The official comment came after May refused to condemn the ban during a visit to Turkey to meet with Turkish leaders. She said in Turkey the decision was a matter solely for the United States.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party, went a step further and called on Trump’s planned visit to the UK to be canceled as long as the immigration ban is in place.

Referring to ‘awful attacks on Muslims,’ ‘awful misogynist language’ and the ‘absurd idea’ of building a wall along the Mexican border, Corbyn says Britain should make it clear to the Trump administration ‘that we are extremely upset about it, and I think it would be totally wrong for him to be coming here while that situation is going on.’ 

J’accuse: One protester held a sign reading: ‘Trump is the terrorist’ while another proclaimed: ‘This is not how to defeat ISIS!’

One of the JFK protesters demanded more protection for immigrant families, as some were detained around the US

Demonstrators poured into JFK airport all throughout Saturday to express their disagreement with Trump’s order

Police at one point blocked protesters from accessing the Air Train at JFK but Governor Andrew Cuomo later ordered authorities to let them through

A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel said the German leader believes the Trump administration’s travel ban on people from some Muslim-majority countries is wrong.

Germany’s dpa news agency quoted Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert saying Sunday that ‘she is convinced that even the necessary, resolute fight against terrorism doesn’t justify putting people of a particular origin or particular faith under general suspicion.’

The Iraqi government also spoke out, saying it understands the security motives behind President Donald Trump’s decision to ban seven predominantly Muslim nations, including Iraq, from entering the United States, but underlined that their ‘special relationship’ should be taken into consideration.

Government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi says Iraqis are hoping that the new orders ‘will not affect the efforts of strengthening and developing the bilateral relations between Iraq and the United States.’

Hundreds gathered at Chicago O’Hare airport Saturday to speak out against Trump’s ban on immigration Saturday

‘Muslims are welcome’: One Chicago protester insisted that all should be able to come to the US regardless of their religion

Hundreds of protesters arrived at Chicago O’Hare airport to protest against Trump’s executive order on Saturday

Protestors rallied at a demonstration against the new ban on immigration issued by Trump at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts

More than 1,000 people gathered at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to protest Trump’s order that restricts immigration

Al-Hadithi told The Associated Press on Sunday the government hopes the ‘measures will be temporary and for regulatory reasons and not permanent at least for Iraq.’

Iran’s foreign ministry suggested the country would limit issuing visas to American tourists in retaliation for Trump’s suspension of immigration and visas.

The official IRNA news agency carried a statement by the Iranian foreign ministry on Saturday that said Iran will resort to ‘counteraction’ to Trump’s executive order.

‘Iran, to defend the dignity of the great Iranian nation, will implement the principle of reciprocity until the removal of the insulting restriction against Iranian nationals,’ the statement read.

Protesters gathered at the international arrivals area of Dulles International Airport, where 50 people were detained

‘America wants you here!’ Protesters sent a clear message to all visitors arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport

While a protest unfolded at Dulles International airport, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and Attorney General Mark Herring have said the state could take legal action against the ban

Demonstrators also gathered in San Francisco International Airport Saturday to protest against the ban on immigration

‘No ban, no wall’: One demonstrator spoke out against two of Trump’s major campaign promises at the San Francisco rally

Kayla Razavi, whose family emigrated from Iran, addressed the crowd during the San Francisco protest Saturday afternoon

Demonstrators hold signs reading ‘Home of the free’ during the rally against the ban on immigration in San Francisco

‘It will apply corresponding legal, consular and political actions.’

The two countries have had no diplomatic relations since 1979 when militants stormed the US embassy. 

But the ban has received some support, with the National Border Patrol Council, which represents about 18,000 border patrol staffers, backing Trump’s measures.

Demonstrators rallied at the Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport Saturday afternoon to protest against Trump’s ban

James Badue, who is with the Minnesota NAACP, led other opponents in a chant: ‘No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here,’ as an airport police officer tried to quiet him at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Travelers arriving to at the international gate of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport were greeted by protesters demonstrating against the executive order signed by President Trump

Protesters also demonstrated at Dallas Forth Worth Airport Saturday afternoon as the immigration ban created chaos

‘He will not divide us’: One demonstrator made a plea for unity at Dallas Fort Worth Airport while protesting with his brother

One demonstrator at LAX re-purposed Hillary Clinton’s supporters’ motto, this time applying it to the Statue Of Liberty

People held signs with the names of people detained and denied entry at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday

Homa Homaei, a US Citizen from Iran, is pictured receiving a hug from a lawyer working to help her Iranian family members effected by the travel ban at Los Angeles International Airport

‘We fully support and appreciate President Trump’s swift and decisive action to keep the American people safe and allow law enforcement to do its job,’ the council said in a statement.

‘We applaud the three executive orders he has issued to date, and are confident they will make America safer and more prosperous. 

‘Morale amongst our agents and officers has increased exponentially since the signing of the orders. 

‘The men and women of ICE and Border Patrol will work tirelessly to keep criminals, terrorists, and public safety threats out of this country, which remains the number one target in the world – and President Trump’s actions now empower us to fulfill this life saving mission, and it will indeed save thousands of lives and billions of dollars.’ 

Volunteer lawyers are pictured working pro-bono Saturday in New York preparing petitions for detainees at JFK

Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who had worked as a interpreter with the U.S. Army in Iraq, was released from detention on Saturday. He was detained after flying into New York on Friday night

Emotional: Muslim travelers were nervous as they arrived in JFK today as chaos was apparent over the enforcement of Trump’s immigration executive order

It follows reports that Muslim-majority countries with ties to Trump’s business empire have been excluded from the order

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