DETAINED AT THE AIRPORT
by Jack Edward Urquhart
Hameed Darweesh’s flight landed at New York’s JFK Airport Friday evening, January 27th. He was immediately detained by border control, and denied a right to see his lawyer, who was already in the airport asking to see Mr. Darweesh . When Mr. Darweesh’s lawyer asked who could clarify the situation, the border control agent flippantly replied, talk to Donald Trump. Imagine that happening to you, or a family member – think about it.
For ten years, Mr. Darweesh had worked for the United States government as an interpreter, engineer and contractor. In so doing, he put his own life in immediate danger, as well as the lives of his wife, and three children. He and his family, regardless of where they moved in Iraq, were targeted for serving the United States.
Iraqi people who work for the United States are often targeted for death by rebel groups. Recognizing the serious dangers faced by Iraqis who aided the United States, Congress passed, during the Bush Administration, an act permitting those like Mr. Darweesh and his family to apply for a Special Immigrant Visa. Mr. Darweesh and his family went through that application process, which took more than four years.
When Mr. Darweesh was detained Friday, he had cleared all security procedures. He was processed as a ‘no threat’ to the United States. He had all papers required for legal entry into the United States.
The sole basis for his detention was Trump’s Executive Order that banned entry to all citizens of 7 Muslim countries.
Again, Mr. Darweesh was DENIED access to a lawyer, and he was never brought before a Magistrate as is required by LAW – let that sink in. What if it was you, or your family member? This denial of due process will continue on with any group that Trump finds distasteful – is there a chance he would find you distasteful?
Mr. Darweesh was detained until the next day, when Federal Judge Ann Donnelly temporarily halted enforcement of the most offensive portion of the Executive Order, because in all likelihood it violated the Due Process and Equal Protection guaranteed by the United States Constitution.
Acting United States Attorney General Sally Yates declined to assist in the enforcement of the Executive Order. This was not only her right, but her duty. The Attorney General is not the President’s lawyer. Yesterday, Trump fired Attorney General Sally Yates. I am certain this was no surprise to her. She refused to be the President’s lap dog.
America’s core values include respect for time honored checks and balances. Judge Ann Donnelly and Attorney General Sally Yates faithfully performed their constitutional duties.
Trump should have fired the incompetent who drafted such an overblown Executive Order. Nothing in the United States Constitution prevents a President from firing himself, or herself. Even Richard Nixon understood that!