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Travelers arrive at the international terminal of O'Hare Airport in Chicago on Friday. Photo: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP via Getty Images

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport tweeted Saturday night that customs processing was "taking longer than usual" because of enhanced screening for the novel coronavirus for passengers coming from Europe.

Why it matters: The airport's admission and images circulated on social media of the hours-long wait after the Trump administration's travel restrictions came into effect midnight Friday. Illinois Gov. J.B Pritzker (D) said the lines were "unacceptable" and that President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence should act "immediately."

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Americans returning from Europe are exempted from the ban preventing travelers from the continent visiting the United States, but they must undergo screening in the U.S.

What they're saying: "These crowds are waiting to get through customs which is under federal jurisdiction," Pritzker said in a Facebook statement. "To the frustrated people trying to get home, I have spoken with the mayor and our Senators and we are working together to get the federal government to act to solve this."

  • "We will do everything within our power to get relief," he continued without elaborating further. "The federal government needs to get its s@#t together. NOW."

Customs and Border Protection said in a statement that the agency is aware of reports of long wait times and is "working diligently" to resolve the situation.

  • “We’re continuing to balance our efficiencies with ensuring the health and safety of all American citizens through enhanced medical screening in accordance with CDC guidelines due to the global COVID-19 pandemic,” acting commissioner Mark Morgan added.

The big picture: Trump announced last Wednesday that European travel to the U.S. would be restricted for 30 days for member states of the Schengen Area, which includes most but not all of the European Union. By early Sunday, there were nearly 3,000 infections in the U.S. and every state but West Virginia reported cases.

  • Citizens of the United Kingdom and Ireland were initially exempted, but Pence announced Saturday the ban would be extended to include them from midnight Monday ET.
  • O'Hare Airport confirmed Chicago Police were "distributing bottled water and snacks to travelers waiting to get through customs processing."
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

Go deeper

Biden to sign executive orders focused on women's rights

President Biden. Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

President Biden will sign executive orders Monday establishing a Gender Policy Council and directing the Department of Education to review the federal law Title IX, according to administration officials.

Why it matters: The Biden administration is signaling its priorities to advance gender equity and equality as women, particularly women of color, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

3 hours ago - World

Report: U.S. calls for UN-led Afghan peace talks

Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, D.C., in February. Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a letter outlining a plan to accelerate peace talks with the Taliban that the U.S. is "considering" a full troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, Afghan outlet TOLOnews first reported Sunday.

Why it matters: In the letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, also obtained by Western news outlets, Blinken expresses concern that the Taliban "could make rapid territorial gain" after an American military withdrawal, even with the continuation of U.S. financial aid, as he urges him to embrace his proposal.

Harry and Meghan accuse British royal family of racism

Photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions via Reuters

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle delivered a devastating indictment of the U.K. royal family in their conversation with Oprah Winfrey: Both said unnamed relatives had expressed concern about what the skin tone of their baby would be. And they accused "the firm" of character assassination and "perpetuating falsehoods."

Why it matters: An institution that thrives on myth now faces harsh reality. The explosive two-hour interview gave an unprecedented, unsparing window into the monarchy: Harry said his father and brother "are trapped," and Markle revealed that the the misery of being a working royal drove her to thoughts of suicide.