Thousands of protesters gathered at airports across the country Saturday to denounce President Trump’s recent executive order that barred citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The order also temporarily suspended entry to all refugees for 120 days.
It also has led to the detention of legal permanent U.S. residents — or green card holders — in multiple airports. A federal judge in New York issued a stay late Saturday that allowed people stranded in airports to temporarily avoid deportation. Several people who were detained were later freed.
Protests erupted against the refugee order at airports in several cities Saturday, and some continued into Sunday morning. Demonstrations took place at airports servicing big cities, including New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston and outside Washington, D.C.
Boston’s mayor, Marty Walsh joined protesters at Boston’s Logan International Airport. He asked protesters to join him at a protest Sunday at the city’s Copley Square. “Join us there, to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters,” he said.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat not shy of denouncing President Trump when he was a candidate, also appeared at the Boston protest.
New York City
Thousands came to New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Groups like the New York Immigration Coalition helped spread the word on social media. Twelve refugees were detained at the airport Saturday, according to The Associated Press.
New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, tweeted his support. “I never thought I’d see the day when refugees, who have fled war-torn countries in search of a better life, would be turned away at our doorstep. … This is not who we are, and not who we should be,” he said in a statement.
Protesters crowded the terminal at Dulles International Airport, located in Virginia near Washington, D.C. Producer Carmel Delshad of NPR member station WAMU was on hand.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe spoke to the press at the airport and released a statement, saying he urges President Trump to rescind the policy. “In the meantime, my administration will work with Attorney General Mark Herring to identify any and all legal steps we can take to oppose this dangerous and divisive policy,” he said.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey also came to Dulles. “This will be an ongoing battle,” he told the gathered crowd. “What we’ve seen in the first eight days of the Trump administration, is that this is going to be a long, arduous and tough fight.”
“More than a dozen travelers” were detained at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, according to the Chicago Tribune. Lawyers for the travelers told the paper that 17 people were held, but all were freed after the federal judge’s order Saturday.
Hundreds of people stood outside the terminal, chanting, “The whole world is watching,” the Tribune reports.
More than 800 people protested at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport on Saturday, reports Stella Chavez of member station KERA. She writes:
“The protesters stood inside the international terminal holding signs and chanting their support for immigrants.
Amira Mustafa was waiting for her mom, who arrived from Sudan after 22 hours of flying. Mustafa was upset because the news about Trump’s executive order came while her mother — who’s diabetic — was en route to the U.S.
‘And now she is here and between us is only the wall. I can’t see my mom. She is 67. What’s the security in 67? She can’t even walk. She’s in wheelchair.’
The crowd erupted in cheers when they learned a judge had granted a request for a temporary injunction on the ban.”
At least seven people have been detained at the airport, and two people may have been deported, the Los Angeles Times reports. All of those detained were permanent residents or had visas, the paper says.
Protesters denouncing Trump’s executive order numbered about 300, according to the AP, and held a candlelight vigil at the Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Reporter Leslie Berestein Rojas of NPR member station KPCC wrote on Twitter that protesters chanted “free them now.”
About 3,000 protesters gathered at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Saturday and continued protesting through early Sunday morning, the AP reports. NPR member station KUOW reported that “up to 13 people” have been detained at the airport.
Several tech companies are located in and around the city. Microsoft said 76 of its employees could be affected, while Amazon warned employees not to leave the country, according to the station. KUOW quoted King County Executive Dow Constantine (the county where Seattle is located) saying that in his first week President Trump “has done more damage to the prospects of Americans than any terrorist could do.”
The AP also noted protests occurring in Newark, N.J., Portland Ore. and San Diego.