Feds mum on No. of Detroit detainees

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Days after President Trump issued an executive order to temporarily suspend immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, it’s not clear how many, if any, visitors to Detroit have been detained.

Federal officials were mum Monday. Representatives for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Joint Information Center, the Transportation Security Administration and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement all referred questions to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A Detroit-based spokesman for Customs and Border Patrol could not be reached for comment. Customs and Border Protection also did not respond to requests for comment over the weekend.

Darrell Dawsey, a spokesman for the ACLU of Michigan, said Tuesday the Detroit-based group has received a number of requests for help from immigrants but it's not known how many.

"We have lawyers working with people across a number of different types of cases and issues," he said. "Folks are calling in and we're getting requests from people on social media as well. I don't know if we've gotten a tally yet, but we have received a number of calls."

On Friday, Trump issued an executive order suspending refugee admissions for 120 days and bars all immigration for 90 days from Muslim-majority countries with terrorism concerns: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It indefinitely bars the processing of refugees from Syria.

The action aims to keep terrorists out of the United States and strengthen national security, according to Trump.

On Saturday, a U.S. District judge, Royal Oak-born Ann Donnelly of New York’s Eastern District, temporarily blocked the Trump administration from deporting refugees and visa holders from those seven countries after an emergency hearing Saturday night.

Trump’s order sparked protests across the country and in Detroit. On Sunday, thousands gathered at Detroit Metro Airport and in Hamtramck to rail against Trump’s travel ban.

Metro Detroit is home to one of the largest concentration of Muslims in the United States and some some say no region will feel the impact of the travel ban more.