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WASHINGTON (CN) - More than 36 hours after a federal judge ordered such relief, volunteer attorneys at Dulles International Airport are fighting Monday to physically meet with travelers detained under President Trump's immigration ban.
"At this time some telephone access is being facilitated," Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg with Virginia-based Legal Aid Justice Center said in an email.
It is unclear how much contact has been made, but Sandoval-Moshenberg indicated that a hotline number has been set up to handle inquiries.
Staff and volunteers at the Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition received a handful of calls by Monday morning, Claudia Cubas, senior director of the coalition's Detained Adult Program, said in an email.
“All have been people who are either waiting at deferred inspection or are family members of people stranded or having a difficult time gaining permission to board planes abroad,” Cubas added.
She noted that the group includes an elderly couple who emigrated to the United States to reunite with their U.S. citizen daughter and another couple in their 60s with green cards.
The latter couple has been living in the United States for several years and were returning from a trip abroad.
President Donald Trump tweeted out this morning that only 109 travelers have been detained or questioned since Friday night when he signed an executive order instituting a 120-day halt of refugee admissions and a 90-day bar on entry to the United States by visa holders from seven Muslim-majority countries.
Though a senior official at the White House hailed implementation of the executive order on Sunday as having been done "seamlessly" and with "extraordinary professionalism,” it was a story of confusion as the scene played out on the ground at Dulles for travelers from the banned countries - Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen.
Sandoval-Moshenberg and Mayer Brown attorneys Andrew Pincus and Paul Hughes filed a habeas petition for two Yemeni brothers who were detained at Dulles on Saturday afternoon.
Their filing counts 50 to 60 detained travelers at Dulles on Saturday alone.
Sons of a U.S. citizen, the two Yemeni brothers, 21-year-old Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz and 19-year-old Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz are green card holding lawful permanent residents of the United States.
At around the same time a federal court in Brooklyn was ordering similar relief for a stranded traveler at Kennedy Airport, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema granted a temporary restraining order at around 9 p.m. Saturday to let the Aziz brothers meet with their attorneys. Brinkema’s order also applies to dozens of other volunteer attorneys who gathered at Dulles to help travelers in limbo.
"Respondents shall permit lawyers access to all legal permanent residents being detained at Dulles International Airport," the order states. "Respondents are forbidden from removing petitioners - lawful permanent residents at Dulles International Airport - for a period of 7 days from the issuance of this order.”
After the Azizes were denied entry to the United States, however, they were deported back to the country they flew in from, Ethiopia.
The Azizes’ removal underscores the confusion that the Trump administration denies existed surrounding implementation of the executive order, and whom it applied to.