A federal judge in Boston has scheduled a hearing on whether to extend a temporary restraining order against President Donald Trump's executive order temporarily barring immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the U.S.
A seven-day restraining order was granted Sunday by two federal judges. On Tuesday, Judge Nathaniel Gorton - randomly selected to take over the case - cheduled a full hearing for Friday.
The temporary order bars officials from detaining or deporting refugees with approved applications, immigrants with valid green cards or visas, and others authorized to enter the U.S. if not for Trump's order.
The order was issued in a lawsuit filed on behalf of two UMass Dartmouth professors, Muslims from Iran who are lawful permanent residents of the U.S., but were detained at Boston's airport as they returned after attending an academic conference.
The professors - Mazdak Tootkaboni and Arghavan Louhghalam - issued a statement Tuesday saying they are "happy and relieved" to be home and back at work.
"We have always felt welcomed in America, a country with a vibrant academic community and a place where the quest for science and innovation has been fueled by a diverse and colorful influx of creative and compassionate minds," the statement said.
Tootkaboni and Louhghalam went on to thank their colleagues at UMass for supporting them throughout the ordeal.
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"Though our four-hour detention at Logan Airport was disheartening and stressful at times, we are grateful to the federal officers for their kind and humane treatment of the people caught off-guard in the middle of fast-paced developments over the past few days," they added. "It is our hope that the national dialogue, ignited by our experience and that of many other immigrants who years only to pursue the American dream, results in laws and policies grounded in humanity."