By Michael D Shear and Nicholas Kulish
President Trump’s executive order on immigration quickly reverberated across the United States and the world on Saturday, slamming the border shut for an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Massachusetts, a Syrian refugee family headed to a new life in Ohio and countless others.
Around the nation, security personnel at major international airports had new rules to follow, though the application of the order appeared uneven. Humanitarian organizations delivered the bad news to overseas families that had overcome the bureaucratic hurdles previously in place and were all set to travel. And refugees already on flights when the order was signed on Friday found themselves detained upon arrival. “We’ve gotten reports of people being detained all over the country,” said Becca Heller, the director of the International Refugee Assistance Project. “They’re literally pouring in by the minute.”
There were numerous reports of students attending American universities who were blocked from returning to the United States from visits abroad. One student said in a Twitter post that he would be unable to study at Yale. Another who attends the Massachusetts Institute of Technology was refused permission to board a plane. A Sudanese graduate student at Stanford University was blocked for hours from entering the country. Human rights groups reported that legal permanent residents of the United States who hold green cards were being stopped in foreign airports as they sought to return from funerals, vacations or study abroad. There was widespread condemnation of the order, from religious leaders, business executives, academics, political leaders and others. Mr. Trump’s supporters offered praise, calling it a necessary step on behalf of the nation’s security.