Syrian Family Sponsored by Chicago Church Barred by Travel Ban

The Syrian family a Chicago congregation sponsored to come to American on Monday may not come at all due to President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

“To have that taken away from them is something I think we’re all devastated by,” said Desiree Winkle, a member of Epiphany United Church of Christ.

A fully-furnished apartment in suburban Skokie that was waiting for the Syrian family now sits empty, the sponsors say.

The Rev. Kevin Mclemore said everything seemed to be in order before the family’s departure.

“They’ve been fully vetted, they had visas, there was nothing stopping them in terms of being here except getting on that particular plane,” he told NBC 5.

But, Mclemore says, the immigration ban has stalled the family’s arrival. Over the weekend more than a dozen travelers were detained as more than 1,000 protesters gathered outside O’Hare International Airport.

Trump said in a tweet “there is nothing nice about searching for terrorists before they can enter our country.”

O’Hare was one of several airports across the nation where travelers were detained and protests erupted over the weekend.

Here's How Illinois Politicians Have Responded to Trump's Immigration Order

Officials told NBC 5 that no one was being questioned or detained at the airport on Monday morning, but attorneys wanting to help detainees were already at the terminal holding signs hours before the first international flight was scheduled to arrive at 6 a.m.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the executive order will not stop Chicago from being a sanctuary city, and is encouraging residents to host refugees and immigrants for a meal to show unity, or to even call a family to welcome them to Chicago.

A federal judge Saturday blocked the government from deporting immigrants being held due to Trump's executive order.

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