DULLES, VA (WUSA9) – The sons of an American citizen had immigrant visas in hand ready to join their father in Flint Michigan where he runs several gas stations.
But when they arrived at Dulles International Airport on Saturday morning, because they are from Yemen, the young men were handcuffed and put back on a plane.
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Their father, Aqel Muhammad Aziz is crushed. He told WUSA9’s Peggy Fox that he doesn’t know what to do.
He’s has lived in the United States for a decade and became a naturalized citizen. He is living the American Dream and he wanted the same for his sons, but President Donald Trump’s order has stamped out those dreams for now.
On the airplane headed to American, Tareq Aziz, 21, and his brother Ammar, 19, snapped a picture of the two of them and sent it to their father. They look happy. But while they were in the air on Friday, President Trump issued his executive order banning travel from seven muslin-majority counties.
US citizen dad is devastated after his Yemeni boys #AzizBrothers, with visas, were handcuffed at @Dulles_Airport & sent to Ethiopia @wusa9 pic.twitter.com/2ZMDwCp9JI
— Peggy Fox (@PeggyTV) February 1, 2017
It would change everything when they reached Dulles Airport, explains immigration attorney Simon Sandoval Moshenburg.
“They were taken aside, put in handcuffs. Basically bullied into signing away their rights to come into the United States as lawful, permanent residents.”
The Aziz brothers had immigrant visas in their hands which means they are incoming Green Card holders, says Sandoval Moshenburg.
“These kids know nothing about the law. They were not given access to attorneys. There were attorneys…how ever many feet away at the airport,” he said.
It took the Aziz brothers a year and a half years to obtain the permanent visas. Sandoval Moshenburg emphasizes that the Azizes were going the proper process and had been thoroughly vetted.
“You want to talk about, ‘these immigrants need to wait I line.’ These are exactly immigrants who waited in line. Right? It was a year’s long line. And this is how they’re treated?,” said Sandoval Moshenburg.
He says he couldn’t understand why border agent didn’t just send them back and tell to wait 90 days, because that’s what the executive order stated.
A 90-day ban on immigrants from seven counties — Yemen, Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Iran and Syria. But, an order, signed by the deputy assistant secretary of at the State Department Friday, explains why.
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“Just last night we learned about this other secret order that was put into place that does exactly that, that actually straight up cancels visas,” said Sandoval Moshenburg.
Tareq and Ammar Aziz are in a hotel in Djibouti waiting for answers.
The attorney says there is a whole family in the same boat as the Aziz brothers. A family of seven with five children under the age of 14, also from Yemen, were on the same flight as the Aziz brothers.
They also were all detained, had their permanent visas canceled, and were sent back on another flight from Dulles. They may be added to the Aziz lawsuit.