Metro Detroit attorney held at Port Huron bridge as Trump's border ban begins

- A Detroit area attorney personally felt the impact of President Donald Trump's executive orders restricting travel and immigration from certain countries.

More than a hundred travelers were detained at airports across the US this weekend as Homeland Security agents worked to sort it all out - but the confusion was not limited to airports.

"I was frustrated and angry at the same time, because it isolates you," said Farrah Al-Khersan. Al-Khersan is a 26-year-old West Bloomfield immigration attorney.

Al-Khersan along with her husband were both stopped at the border when on their way to dinner with her in-laws in Canada. Al-Khersan is originally from Iraq.

"The officer there said to us 'We have to have you guys go inside,'" she said. "'You know about the signed executive order, we need to clear a few things up."

Arriving at the Sarnia-Port Huron crossing just hours after President Donald Trump signed his executive order on immigration, banning citizens of some Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, Al-Khersan and her husband, who is now a Canadian citizen, says she couldn't believe what was happening.

"Iraq is written on his Green Card, but neither of us haven't been there since the early 90s," she said.

Al-Kherson says at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, she and her husband were told to get out of their car and leave their things, unable to make any phone calls.

Al-Khersan says she had no objection to the officers searching her car -- but didn't know what was going on.

"In the next few hours, we kept getting the same response," she said. "'We don't know what's going on. This is above our pay grade; we're waiting to get further clarifications from a senior officer. We're waiting for a phone call."

Al-Khersan has been naturalized since 2013, said while waiting there for hours, answering dozens of questions; she was finally offered to go through - but not her husband.

"The ban says 90 days indefinitely," she said. "But It could be extended. But we were coming up with alternatives at that point, like what if I have to move to Canada if they're not going to let him in."

Another hour later, Al-Khersan says she almost gave up.

"Then they came out and told me, 'We're not going to get a decision right now, you guys should just go back to Canada,'" Al-Khersan said.

But at 3:30 a.m. Saturday she and her husband were eventually let through and allowed to return home.

"I don't think you have to choose between national security and people's rights," she said.

Officials with the Department of Homeland Security and Customs and Border Protection were not available for comment Monday, until further clarification, Al-Khersan says she worries about families who aren't as well-versed in immigration law as she is.

"There's so much chaos and confusion that is happening everywhere," she said. I've been advising everybody to stay put wherever you are for the time being if you are from one of those designated countries."
 


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