Muslims and local immigration activists participate in a prayer and rally against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies in New York City on Friday.
Five Iraqi passengers and one Yemeni were barred from boarding an EgyptAir flight from Cairo to New York on Saturday following President Donald Trump's ban on the entry of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, sources at Cairo airport said.
Trump on Friday put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily barred travellers from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries, saying the moves would help protect Americans from terrorist attacks.
The six passengers, bound for John F. Kennedy International Airport, were prevented from boarding EgyptAir Flight 985 at Cairo airport despite holding valid immigration visas, the sources said.
The five Iraqis had arrived in transit from Erbil and were being held at the airport until they could be re-boarded on flights back to Iraq, whereas the Yemeni passenger had arrived at the airport from elsewhere in Cairo, they added.
Trump halted the entry of travellers from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for at least 90 days, saying his administration needed time to develop more stringent screening procedures for refugees, immigrants and other visitors.
A UN refugee agency spokesman said it was not yet known whether the six travellers had been granted visas earlier under the US refugee programme.
Qatar Airways, one of the largest Middle East airlines, said on its website that citizens of those seven countries could still travel to the United States if they had a permanent residence permit.
The travel alert said government officials and their immediate family and international organisation representatives were exempt from the restrictions.
No instructions to Iran airlines
Iran's Aviation Organisation said have not issued any new instructions to Iranian airlines, which do not have direct flights to the Unites States in the absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
With more than a million Iranians living in the United States, many families are concerned about the implications of Trump's visa ban.
An Iranian studying in California who was visiting home said Saturday that she could not return because her ticket had been cancelled under the new restrictions.
"I had a ticket for Turkish Airlines on February 4, but it has been cancelled," the girl who did not wish to be identified told AFP.
"I've informed the university officials by mail and they were surprised. They are going to send me a letter so I can try fly from Europe."
On Thursday, one of Iran's most popular actresses said she would boycott next month's Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles in protest at the US ban.
"Trump's visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won't attend the #AcademyAwards 2017," tweeted Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in the Oscar-nominated "The Salesman".