Politicians from our area reacted to the news that two Syrian families who arrived at Philadelphia International Airport Saturday from Doha, Qatar were briefly detained and then sent back on a return 18-hour flight to the Middle East.
The families were detained and deported through an executive order signed Friday evening by President Donald Trump that immediately put restrictions on travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries and temporarily halted a refugee program for Syrian immigrants.
Since NBC10 put out the report, several politicians, including Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf, have reacted to the news. Kenney and Wolf also joined other politicians and protesters at Philly International Airport Saturday night on behalf of at least five other immigrants who remain detained there.
You can view their responses below:
Mayor Jim Kenney
"I am sickened by reports that federal officials, without knowledge or cooperation of PHL Airport staff, detained and then turned away two Syrian families. By several accounts, these families waited months to obtain the proper documentation so they could come to our country legally. And still, they were sent back to a war-torn nation that has used chemical warfare against its own people. The Trump administration very well may have just given these families a death sentence.
Banning immigrants and refugees is not only unjustifiably cruel, it also puts Americans at home and serving abroad at great risk. By refusing to allow entry to any immigrants from these seven nations, even those who have helped American troops as interpreters and fixers, we are enabling anti-American radicalization and endangering the lives of many.
History has taught us that dark moments like this occur when we allow fear to silence our compassion and better judgment. Our city has welcomed approximately 260 refugees in recent years from these now-banned nations. We must speak out strongly against this executive order so that these new Philadelphians' friends and families can also find safe harbor in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection.”
Governor Tom Wolf
"On a human level, this is unconscionable to do this to these legal immigrants and their families. William Penn founded Pennsylvania as a safe place for vulnerable people fleeing oppression. This does not represent who we are."
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)
Very concerning. Our office has contacted DHS.
Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA)