Several cruise passengers returning to Fort Lauderdale from a week-long Caribbean cruise aboard Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, have been detained due to President Trump’s Executive Order, banning citizens of predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
5,000 passengers were returning from a seven-night gay cruise onboard Allure of the Seas chartered by Atlantis Events, but several passengers were shocked to find out they could not re-enter the United States, despite having green cards, which make them legal residents of the U.S.
Some passengers were detained and questioned for more than two hours by the U.S. Customs and Border Protective (CBP). Advanced warnings about the heightened security were communicated to passengers onboard. The CBP also requested that the captain of the cruise ship first disembark any guests originally from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Trump’s Executive Order, which came into effect on Friday – five days after the ship departed – now bans anyone from those seven countries from entering the US for at least the next 90 days.
If sent back to their home countries, they could be forced to endure brutal whippings, or even sentenced to death, for being gay.
One passenger, Maysam Sodagar, originally from Iran, but living in San Francisco, posted several updates on Facebook.
Passengers faced gruelling hours of questioning and interrogation, but all have since been granted access back into the U.S., including Sodagar.