Most people board a plane with a pretty good idea of whether the destination country will allow them entry. If you're a legal permanent resident of that country, like someone with a green card, then it's fair to be confident that you'll be let in the door.
But hundreds of people, many of them green card holders, arrived at the door of the US on Friday night and Saturday — and were not let in.
That's because President Trump signed an executive order that barred nationals of seven countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — from entering the country for 90 days.
Some airlines told green card holders they were banned, and didn’t let them board US-bound flights; others let green card holders fly into the US, only to get detained when they landed.
On Saturday, just to clear things up, a Department of Homeland Security official said the order applied to green card holders. So many of these people, who rightly assumed they would be granted entry into the US, were held at airports.
But here's the confusing part: Some green card holders were asked a series of questions — and when they answered them to a US official's satisfaction, they were allowed in.
And others were not let through.
So the new policy seemed to be that green card holders would be allowed in on a case-by-case basis — something an administration official confirmed to Reuters.
Let's diagram this: If you were a green card holder in Iran thinking of flying back to the US on Saturday after visiting grandparents, you had to deal with this predicament:
On Sunday, after massive protests and mass confusion, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly reversed the department’s position: Legal permanent residents are supposed to be let through the door, regardless of where they’re from, provided they pass a security check.