PORTLAND, Ore. -- A refugee family from Iraq was greeted by balloons and cheers at Portland International Airport Sunday.

“They seem great,” said Mat Dos Santos, ACLU Legal Director. “They were so excited to land and be greeted by all the folks.”

Dos Santos said the ACLU had filed a lawsuit on behalf of Unite Oregon, a refugee advocacy group. But Dos Santos said it was U.S. District Judge James Robart’s ruling from Seattle that stayed the Trump Administration’s executive order that temporarily bans travel to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

That group includes Iraq, which is why the Mohammed family was prevented from boarding a plane on Friday, bound for the United States with Portland as the final destination. The family includes Mustapha Mohammed, his wife, and their 3-year-old daughter.

“The family has a cousin that lives in the metro area,” said Dos Santos. He added that the ACLU believes the executive order is illegal, and this family deserves to be granted refugee status and allowed to resettle in Oregon.

“This is a man who has served the U.S. military in Iraq, who had been vetted for three years,” said Dos Santos.

He said the family has been through several security clearances. They sought to leave Iraq after Mohammed acted as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Iraq.

Posted by Catholic Charities of Oregon on Sunday, February 5, 2017