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ICC Note: Two Christian families were banned from entering the US under President Trump’s new executive order. The families are Syrian orthodox Christians holding F-4 visas. They were forced to purchase the plane tickets that flew them back to the Middle East.

01/30/2017 USA (Buzzfeed): Two Syrian brothers and their families were forced to board a flight to Qatar, less than two hours after arriving at Philadelphia International Airport, a lawyer for the ACLU Pennsylvania told BuzzFeed News.

Two Syrian couples — two brothers and their wives — as well as the teenage children of one couple boarded a flight from Lebanon to Qatar and then to Philadelphia on F-4 visas, which are given to people with family members who are US citizens. Once they arrived in Philadelphia, though, they were detained and denied entry into the country.

On Friday, President Donald Trump suspended the entire US refugee program for 120 days — refugees from war-torn Syria being banned indefinitely. Trump’s executive order also blocks all people from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days.

While the order does not mention Muslims or Islam, during his signing ceremony at the Pentagon Friday, Trump said he is establishing “new vetting measures” to keep “radical Islamic terrorists” out of the US. The Syrian family is Christian Orthodox.

Part of Trump’s executive order gives refugees who are part of a religious minority — meaning, in many cases Christians — priority admission into the United States.

“These particular family members were not refugees,” Molly Tack-Hooper, a staff attorney for the ACLU Pennsylvania told BuzzFeed News, adding that they had secured visas. “Their religion did not affect them. They were banned just because they’re Syrian.”

The family — who are not native English speakers — were not given access to lawyers or allowed to call their relatives from the Philadelphia airport, Tack-Hooper said. They also had to pay for their plane tickets back to Qatar.

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