- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

NEW YORK (AP) - An American Civil Liberties Union lawyer said Monday that he plans to ask a judge to ensure refugees forced to leave the United States are returned.

ACLU lawyer Lee Gelernt said the civil rights group will seek the return of anyone forced out after President Donald Trump on Friday blocked citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

Gelernt on Saturday argued before U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly before she concluded that civil rights groups had a strong likelihood of success in establishing that Trump’s ban was unconstitutional.

She barred the U.S. from summarily deporting people who had arrived with valid visas or an approved refugee application.

Gelernt said the ACLU was getting reports of several people who were sent back abroad when they arrived at U.S. airports.

“We’re getting reports of a few. We think there’s more,” he said.

The lawyer said the ACLU wants to learn how many were rejected and to which countries they were sent.

“It’s obviously not easy to track down people who were removed without a lawyer knowing exactly where they were going,” Gelernt said.

He said the ACLU also planned to ask the judge to force the government to turn over a list of anyone who was detained once they arrived in the U.S. He said lawyers want to verify what happened to everyone.

Meanwhile, lawyers working with travelers detained at New York’s Kennedy Airport said at least 42 people who were in custody there have been released.

Still, attorneys from the group NoBanJFK said they still didn’t know Monday the status of two detainees. And they said up to nine people who arrived on a flight Monday morning from Saudi Arabia were being held for questioning.

Lawyers said at least 19 of the detainees at Kennedy were U.S. residents. The largest number of detainees were Iranian.

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