The Latest: Travelers under Trump ban head to US via Beirut

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WASHINGTON (AP) The Latest on the reaction to U.S. President Donald Trump's ban on travelers and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries (all times Eastern):

9:45 p.m.

An Iranian researcher who had been prevented from coming to the United States to do research at Stanford University has arrived safely at New York's Kennedy Airport.

Nima Enayati was turned away last week when he tried to fly to New York from Italy, where he's working on a Ph.D.

Enayati says, ''It feels great finally I'm here.''

He says he acted quickly when he saw a judge rule against President Donald Trump's Jan. 27 executive order suspending America's refugee program and halting immigration to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Enayati is on a visa for three months to conduct research at Stanford working on robotics that will help make surgeries less invasive and cheaper for patients.


9:25 p.m.

An Iranian graduate student who was denied entry into the United States under President Donald Trump's travel ban has returned to America after a judge halted the order.

The Los Angeles Times reports Sara Yarjani was among those caught in a confusing legal limbo after Trump signed the order Jan. 27, about seven hours before Yarjani landed in Los Angeles on a flight from Oslo. Armed customs agents ultimately escorted Yarjani to a plane bound for Vienna, where she had been visiting family.

Yarjani arrived Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport, where her sister greeted her with open arms. Yarjani has a valid two-year student visa. The Times reports she thanked Americans for their support.


7 p.m.

An attorney for two Yemeni brothers denied entry into the U.S. under President Donald Trump's travel ban says the pair will be reunited with their family at Dulles International Airport.

Ammar Aqel Mohammed Aziz and Tareq Aqel Mohammed Aziz are green-card holders who were traveling through Dulles on their way to Flint, Michigan, when the ban took effect. A federal lawsuit alleges they were coerced into signing away their status and sent to Ethiopia.

Attorney Paul Hughes said Sunday an agreement was reached with the government to allow their re-entry. They are expected to arrive Monday.

Hughes says that without the agreement, a federal judge's order temporarily halting Trump's ban may not have allowed the brothers entry. He says that's because their visas were marked by a prominent ''canceled'' stamp.


5:35 p.m.

A technology firm's founder says an Iranian employee who had been blocked from returning to the United States by President Donald Trump's travel ban against seven Muslim nations has re-entered the country.

Eric Martinez said Nazanin Zinouri cleared through an immigration check in Boston and expected to return home to South Carolina on Monday. Martinez is the founder of startup technology firm Modjoul, which has employed Zinouri since August.

Zinouri arrived from the Iranian capital, where the legal U.S. resident traveled late last month to visit family. Martinez says she planned to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday in Boston.

Zinouri said last week she was taken off a plane in Dubai days after Trump signed the executive order for the ban. A federal judge in Seattle blocked the ban.


5:10 p.m.

A team of volunteer lawyers that had been camped out at a diner at JFK have dismantled most of their operation since they said immigrants were arriving at the airport with no problems.

Attorney Camille Mackler said the New York Immigration Coalition will continue to monitor the situation and will set back up if necessary.

Some operations are being moved to the New York Immigration Council's offices in Manhattan. The hotline set up will be forwarded to the Legal Aid Society.

A few volunteers and interpreters will stay behind at the terminals in case people need help.

One volunteer interpreter, Fifi Youssef, stood with a sign in Arabic at the arrivals area, but said she hasn't had anyone to help all day. She said that means no people are getting detained.


1:20 p.m.

The New York Immigration Coalition says it's been assisting visa and green card holders through JFK with no problems.

Attorney Camille Mackler said Sunday it's been business as usual.

Iranian Fariba Tajrostami was turned away last week in Istanbul, a day after President Donald Trump temporarily suspended travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran. She got a call Saturday saying she could finally fly to the U.S. after a federal judge in Seattle blocked the ban.

With tears in her eyes, she was met at JFK by her two brothers.

She said she's ''very happy'' and feels ''secure.''

Tajrostami plans to join her husband, who moved from Iran last year, in Dallas. He has a green card and works at a car dealership. Tajrostami plans to further pursue her art studies in the U.S.


12:30 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence is calling a federal court order declining to reinstate President Donald Trump's ban as ''frustrating,'' describing it as inconsistent and unconstitutional.

Pence tells ''Fox News Sunday'' that the order from a federal judge in Seattle was wrongly decided, noting that a judge in Boston had earlier come to a different conclusion in initially allowing the ban to stand.

Pence contends that ''it's quite clear the president has the ability to decide who has access to this country.''

He says the administration intends to ''move very quickly'' and will use ''all legal means to stay that order.''

Pence says quick action is needed so Trump can take the action needed ''to protect our country.''


8 a.m.

An Iranian researcher who was prevented from boarding a flight to the U.S. last week because of President Donald Trump's travel ban on certain Muslim-majority countries has checked in on an Emirates Airline flight in Italy headed for New York.

Twenty-nine-year-old Nima Enayati said check in at the Milan airport Sunday went smoothly. But because of disruptions and confusion caused by Trump's executive order, an airport desk employee told him ''she personally would be scared to go to the United States now.''

He said he wasn't worried, though, and will get to New York on Sunday, the day before a federal court hearing on the Trump administration's appeal of a judge's order blocking the ban.

Enayati has a visa to conduct research on robotic surgery at Stanford University in California. He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in Tehran, and a master's degree from the Milan Polytechnic, where he is working on his doctorate.


7:30 a.m.

Cairo airport officials say a total of 33 U.S.-bound migrants have boarded flights on their way to the United States, taking advantage of a U.S. court's decision to block President Donald Trump's travel ban on citizens of seven Muslim majority nations.

They said the 33 came from Yemen, Syria and Iraq and were on flights Sunday to New York's JFK airport as well as Istanbul, Frankfurt and Paris where they will then fly to the United States.

The officials said the 33 had not previously tried to travel to the United States and been turned back, but rather they are migrants who are rushing to take advantage of the window offered by the court ruling.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.


7 a.m.

Lebanon's National News Agency is reporting that airlines operating out of Beirut international airport have begun allowing residents of the seven majority Muslim countries affected by President Donald Trump's travel ban to board flights heading to the United States.

The U.S. State Department reinstated visas Saturday of those travelers affected by Trump's executive order after a federal judge in Seattle blocked the ban.

Beirut has no direct flights to the U.S. so travelers usually head to Europe before their final destination.

The news agency said Syrian families left Beirut on Sunday; it did not provide a figure.

The judge on Sunday rejected the Trump administration's request for an immediate reinstatement of the president's executive order. Formal arguments in the case begin Monday.


5 a.m.

Iranian media are saying the country has lifted a ban on U.S. wrestlers, allowing them to take part in the Freestyle World Cup later this month in the Iranian city of Kermanshah.

The Sunday report by the semi-official Fars news agency quotes Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi as saying that the ban was lifted after the ''discriminative restrictions'' on Iranian nationals traveling to the U.S. was suspended by a U.S. federal judge.

The wrestlers were originally banned from the Feb. 16-17 competition after President Donald Trump temporarily suspended travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.

The Trump administration is now appealing to reinstate the travel ban. On Sunday, a judge in San Francisco rejected the government's request for an immediate reinstatement. Formal arguments in the case begin on Monday.