NEW YORK (CBSMiami) — A Syrian family caught in the chaos caused by President Donald Trump’s controversial travel restrictions was reunited at Kennedy Airport on Monday morning.
The Assali family was stuck in limbo for more than a week after President Trump’s executive order on immigration from seven Muslim majority nations, including Syria, where they fled the ongoing civil war.
“My family is here with us safe, we are so excited,” Sarmad Assali of Allentown, Pennsylvania said.
Despite having new green cards, 17-year-old Matthew Assali and his siblings were sent back to the Middle East last Saturday when the restrictions took effect, keeping them from joining their relatives who live in Pennsylvania.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pennsylvania) said their visas were cancelled apparently while they were flying in mid-air.
“Unhuman what happened to us,” Matthew Assali said. “On the plane all of us was very scared and we don’t know what happened. We played by the rules. We didn’t do anything wrong.”
President Trump’s executive order was put on hold Friday night by a judge in Washington state.
On Sunday night, the president tweeted, “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
“I have instructed Homeland Security to check people coming into our country VERY CAREFULLY. The courts are making the job very difficult!” he wrote.
On Sunday, 97 of the biggest American tech companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Uber, filed a brief with that same court against the president’s action.
“The order makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees,” the brief read. “It disrupts ongoing business operations and it threatens companies’ ability to attract talent, business, and investment to the United States.”
On Monday, the president again attacked the media tweeting, “Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election. Sorry, people want border security and extreme vetting.”
“I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it. Some FAKE NEWS media, in order to marginalize, lies!”
The State Department says some 60,000 immigrants had their visas canceled before the court blocked the president’s executive order.
Former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Madeleine Albright are also asking the appeals court to uphold that judge’s ruling blocking the order.
The Department of Justice has until 6 p.m. Monday to make its argument on why Trump’s executive order on travel should be re-instated.
The full San Francisco Court of Appeals will consider the written arguments and likely reach a ruling this week.