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Chaos follows Trump immigration edict

Scores remain in limbo after President Donald Trump’s order to close US borders to people from seven predominantly Muslim countries, prompting widespread outrage and action. Here, a timeline as events unfold.

Last updated

Wednesday, Feb. 1

Mass. delegation insist feds enforce immigration ruling

Massachusetts senators and members of Congress, all Democrats, sent a letter to US Customs and Border Protection demanding that they grant entry to people from seven countries named in Trump’s temporary ban.

Rex Tillerson confirmed as secretary of State

The Senate has confirmed the former CEO of Exxon Mobil to be Trump’s top diplomat. One of his chief outside backers, former defense secretary Robert M. Gates, said Sunday that the immigration order is likely to make Tillerson’s job harder.

Hundreds of visas revoked

Despite federal court orders allowing people from seven banned countries to come to the United States, they are not being allowed to board planes because the State Department had already revoked their visas, Boston court filings show.

Tuesday, Jan. 31

Paul Ryan breaks his silence

The House Speaker criticized Trump's handling of his immigration order as “regrettable,” while defending the underlying policy.

Monday, Jan. 30

Trump fires acting AG, who had called ban unlawful

Acting Attorney General Sally Yates directed Justice Department attorneys not to defend President Trump’s executive order on refugees, suggesting it was unconstitutional. Trump then fired her.

Senators speak out

Senator Elizabeth Warren told the stories of those who had been affected by the order. “None of these people are criminals. None of these people are threats,” Warren said. “They’re doctors and scientists at some of the country’s best hospitals. One is a father who wants to see his cancer-stricken daughter.”

Don’t talk about airport protests in Trump Country

Trump promised to put America first during the campaign, his supporters say, and he’s doing it. That includes securing the nation’s borders and doing everything possible to prevent terrorism.

Obama pushes back

The former president rejected the idea Monday that Trump had based his immigration executive order on a policy adopted by the Obama administration.

White House spokesman invokes Boston

Sean Spicer said the vetting process for immigrants was being reviewed “to make sure that we do this right.” “I don’t think you have to look any farther than the families of the Boston Marathon, in Atlanta, in San Bernardino, to ask if we can go further,” Spicer said. He also suggested that green card holders would be scrutinized.

Students, universities rally to support foreign scholars

Massachusetts colleges are taking unusual steps to help students and faculty whose careers and education have been thrown into chaos by President Trump’s executive order. At BU, students kept protests going strong.

Where has Charlie Baker been?

Speaking on WGBH’s Boston Public Radio, Baker defended his relatively quiet stance on Trump’s immigration ban. “ ‘What’s Baker’s true north?’ My true north is ensuring that Massachusetts continues to be a great place to raise a family, to work, and to be part of a community.”

Sunday, Jan. 29

Immigrants warned to prepare for massive delays

Lawyers across the country urged immigrants from the seven barred Muslim-majority nations affected to quickly return to the United States.

Trump says his priority is ‘to protect and serve our country’

Amid protests nationwide over Donald Trump’s controversial immigration order, the president does not back away from his plan.

Universities ask for relief from immigration ban

Harvard’s Drew Faust issues a forceful letter, calling on federal officials to consider the order’s effect on universities after students gather to protest at MIT.

Maura Healey and other AGs issue statement

“As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump’s unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful executive order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith,” the joint statement said.

McConnell fails to reject Trump’s order

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, Sunday cautions that the United States does not have a religious test for entry into the country. He stopped short of rejecting Trump’s order to halt the admission of refugees and citizens.

Lawyers to green card holders: Fly into Boston

Some attorneys suggest Boston is the best bet for green card holders hoping to get into the United States after a federal judge issued a restraining order.

Governor Charlie Baker criticizes Trump’s actions

“Massachusetts is a global community. We all benefit from the shared experiences of our partners from around the world,” Baker said in a written statement. “Our education, health care, business and public sector institutions rely on these relationships to deliver on their missions every single day.” His absence at the day’s protest, however, was noted by the crowd, which at one point chanted, “Where’s Governor Baker?”

Iranian, returning from attending father’s funeral, detained

Alireza Ghodrati, a PhD working in the Boston area and a green card holder, was questioned for four hours before being released. Worried about Trump’s executive order, Ghodrati had cut short his trip and missed his father’s memorial.

Protesters demand revocation of Trump’s executive order

Thousands of protesters packed Copley Square in Boston Sunday afternoon, demonstrating against the controversial immigration order.

Iranian woman released at Logan

An Iranian woman was detained for several hours Sunday morning at Logan International Airport after her flight arrived from Dubai, according to her attorney.

Protests nationwide

President Trump’s travel ban sparks protests around the country Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The demonstrations, focused mainly on airports, occurred in Chicago; Dallas; Denver; Fairfax, Va.; Los Angeles; Newark; New York; San Diego; San Francisco; and Seattle.

Confusion over fate of green card holders

‘‘As far as green card holders going forward, it doesn’t affect them,’’ Chief of Staff Reince Priebus says on NBC News’s ‘‘Meet the Press.’’ However, Department of Homeland Security officials said Saturday that the order would affect green-card holders and other holders of legal visas for the United States. A senior administration official had also said Saturday that green-card holders would need a case-by-case waiver to reenter the country.

White House defends executive order

Trump told his almost 23 million Twitter followers on Sunday morning: “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world - a horrible mess!”

Worldwide backlash erupts

Reflecting mounting European anger and astonishment at President Trump, several countries Sunday reject his ban on all refugees and the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries entering the United States. The spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany said there was no justification for the policy of refusing to admit refugees fleeing war. Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain revises her stance on the American directive to take a harder line.

Cardinal Sean O’Malley weighs in

“Let us be a beacon of light and hope for those who look to us in their time of need,” the Roman Catholic head of the Boston archdiocese said.

Federal judges in Boston grant 7-day restraining order

Immigration lawyers in Boston federal court win a seven-day restraining order against Trump’s executive order banning citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. It was a rare two-judge ruling.

Saturday, Jan. 28

Iranian graduate student released from detainment at Logan

Hamed Hosseini-Bay, an Iranian researcher at Tufts, reunites with family after a more than two hour delay at Boston Logan.

Marty Walsh speaks at Logan protest

“I’m here because this is not who we are as America,” the mayor tells reporters. “This is not who we should be or who we are as a country.”

Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly issues a stay

After hearing the ACLU’s arguments, the Obama-appointed Brooklyn judge says the government was “restrained from, in any manner and by any means, removing individuals” affected by the executive order. Minutes later, a US District court judge in Virginia blocks the removal of green card holders detained at Dulles International Airport.

ACLU’s request for a nationwide temporary injunction

Dale Ho, director of the ACLU Voting Rights project, tweets that the request for a stay of deportations from Trump's immigration order has been granted by a federal judge in New York.

Elizabeth Warren speaks at Logan protest

“We will not turn away families,” said Warren, as the crowd repeated the words back to her. “We will not turn away people who try to help Americans. We will not turn away anyone because of their religion.”

Protests begin at Logan

Over the next several hours, hundreds gather at Logan Airport to demonstrate against the detention of travelers.

JFK airport flooded by demonstrators

The protests at JFK get a big boost from filmmaker Michael Moore, who tweets to his 3.8 million followers: “Everybody in NYC area-- head to JFK Terminal 4 NOW! Big anti-Trump protest forming out of nowhere! Ppl mobilizing against Trump's Muslim ban”

Hameed Khalid Darweesh released at JFK

After being detained for nearly 19 hours, Darweesh is released.

Friday, Jan. 27

Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi lands at JFK from Sweden

Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq Alshawi, a 33-year-old accountant born in Baghdad, was traveling from Stockholm to Texas to join his wife, who had worked for a US security contractor in Iraq, and their 7-year-old son. He was first able to speak to his wife around 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Hameed Khalid Darweesh lands at JFK from Iraq

Darweesh, a 53-year-old father of three, worked on behalf of the US government in Iraq for 10 years as an interpreter, engineer, and contractor. He was traveling with his wife and children, who made it through customs, but CBP agents stopped Darweesh and detained him for 19 hours. The ACLU, in their filing on his behalf, called Darweesh’s situation in Iraq “sensitive and dangerous.” An unknown number of others were also detained.

Trump signs executive order on immigration

Titled “Protecting the nation from foreign terrorist entry into the United States,” the order bars all people from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the United States for 90 days. The action also orders the suspension of the US refugee program for 120 days and indefinitely blocks Syrian refugees from entering the United States.

Credits: Associated Press, Department of Homeland Security, American Civil Liberties Union. Photos by Susan Walsh/Associated Press, Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe, Victor J. Blue/The New York Times, Justin Lane/European Pressphoto Agency, Andrew Gombert/European Pressphoto Agency, Kathy Willens/Associated Press, Mark Wilson/Getty Images, Jim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency, Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images, Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images, Keith Bedford/Globe Staff, Matt Rourke/Associated Press. Videos by Emily Zendt/Globe Staff, Anush Elbakyan/Globe Staff. Additional videos courtesy of NBC News and ABC News. Produced by Carrie Blazina, Gabriel Florit, Heather Hopp-Bruce, Kathleen Kingsbury, Lauren Shea and Michael Workman.