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Sarmad Assali, left, accompanied by her son Joseph Assali, and Farzaneh Ahmadi Darani, center left, and her sister Shadi Ahmadi Darani, speaks during a news conference at City Hall in Philadelphia, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. Family members of both the Ahmadi Darani's and Assali's were denied entry into the United States at the Philadelphia airport over the weekend due to President Donald Trump's temporary ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

A Syrian family's relatives were deported over Trump's travel ban. They voted for him.


Dr. Ghassan Assali and his wife Sarmad voted for Donald Trump. They've lived in the U.S. for 20 years. Their relatives were set to join them in Allentown, Pa., after the Assalis bought a house for them in December.

On Saturday morning, the Assalis' relatives landed in Philadelphia. They were detained and deported back to their native Syria, NBC Philadelphia reports. They are still there. 

I understand he wants to make America safe...But people need us and we need to be there for them.
Sarmad Assali

Assali said her two brothers, their wives and two children landed to see security guards waiting for them, who asked if they were Syrian and said, "Come with us." 

All of them had visas and green cards. On Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the ban did not apply to green card holders.

I was one hour away from hugging her.
Tawfik Assali

Tawfik Assali, the son of one of the deported Syrians, said he came to the U.S. three years ago and was waiting for his mother to join him.

The local chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit on the families' behalf. A crowdfunding campaign for the family has raised nearly $20,000 as of Wednesday morning.

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