US-bound travelers grounded due to Trump immigration ban

The Local Austria
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US-bound travelers grounded due to Trump immigration ban
Photo: Staff of the President of the United States, Donald Trump/Wikimedia

American President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday, which placed a temporary ban on citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the country. Within Austria, the order has already affected three American residents who were on their way back to the United States from Isfahan, Iran. So far, the young woman and older married couple with Iranian passports have been taken care of during their unexpected stay in Austria's capital.


Despite their legitimate travel documents, the group was informed on Saturday that they are not allowed to continue their journey. According to Austrian Airlines spokesman Peter Thier, the woman was bound for a wedding in Chicago via New York, and the older couple had planned to visit their children. After spending the whole of Sunday at the airport with vouchers and sandwiches, Thier said the woman and the wheelchair-bound couple were booked on an evening flight back to Isfahan. They could no longer remain within the country given that they had not applied for an Austrian visa. 
It is possible that a further projected 300 non-Muslim Iranians could also be halted in Austria on their way to the US. These plans were made within the context of the Iranian Lautenberg programme, which was established to help Jewish, Christian, and Baha'i Iranians to flee religious persecution. Austria was an important intermedial point for refugees supported by the initiative in that it acted as a safe place for US officials to conduct interviews to screen candidates, being that they could not do so within Iran. Under this ordinance from Trump, the programme has been put on hold, according to a statement made to AP by Thomas Schnöll of the Austrian Foreign Ministry. 
Weighed down by the recent influx of refugees, Schnöll also stated that there is no way for Austria to take on these asylum seekers instead of the US. Therefore, these 300 individuals will have to cancel their travel plans. So far, only 100 of them have been reached. 


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