ACLU lawyers in Nevada pledge to fight travel ban - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

ACLU lawyers in Nevada pledge to fight travel ban

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Passengers wait for their luggage at baggage claim at McCarran Airport. (File/FOX5) Passengers wait for their luggage at baggage claim at McCarran Airport. (File/FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

McCarran International Airport is expecting to have a busy week, but it's not just the big game impeding travel.

Protests over Pres. Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven Middle East countries has been causing traffic as well.

Attorneys from the American Civil Liberties Union also joined in the battle against the order, calling it illegal and un-American.

No one was officially detained at McCarran, but there were a few people that were held longer than normal. Amy Rose, the legal director for ACLU-Nevada, believes that shouldn't have happened at all.

"The executive order is allowing protecting Christian refugees, but nobody else, especially not Muslim refugees." said Rose. "That in and of itself is favoring one religion over another. It's a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment."

On the day the order was issued, Rose learned some travelers were having trouble getting through to their families. She headed down to McCarran to lean more. There, she met with a little boy named Yoseph and his father who were waiting for his grandparents' arrival.

"I want to tell them, 'Welcome to America!'" said Yoseph.

Yoseph stood at the international terminal ready to show them the city, but he didn't realize that after their plane landed, he'd have to wait more than four hours to see them.

The couple were Syrian nationals who held longer than usual. Rose believes it had to do with Trump' travel order.

Protests and lawsuits from the ACLU against the ban emerged. Rose said the executive order is causing more confusion than safety.

When the ACLU stepped in so did the backup. That came in the form of lawyers working pro bono around the clock and financial donations from celebrities and ride-share services like Lyft

"There are so many people in the community willing to donate what resources they have to help the cause," said Rose.

Meanwhile at McCarran Airport, Rose stood by Yoseph and his father until they reunited with their family.

"It made me really happy to know that people care," said Yoseph.

"When the mother came out, she was so distraught. She burst into tears," said Rose. "That was a really great moment to see them reunited."

Trump defended his executive order, asserting it was not a Muslim ban. He said it is only a temporary order while the vetting process is reexamined.

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