Protests erupt at US airports condemning Trump’s travel ban
DONALD TRUMP’S travel ban barring citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations entry into the US sparked widespread public protests and anger among US allies.
At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, about 3,000 protesters holding signs and chanting: “No hatred, no fear, immigrants are welcome here” gathered on Saturday evening and continued demonstrating into Sunday morning.
The Port of Seattle Commissioners, which oversees the airport, issued a statement criticising the executive order.
“As the government that operates this airport, this executive order runs counter to our values. America is great because we are a land of immigrants and that is what made us great to begin with,” the commissioners’ statement said.
Cries of “Let them in!” rose up from a crowd of more than 2,000 people protesting at New York’s John F Kennedy Airport, where 12 refugees were detained on Saturday.
The agency that runs the airport tried to restore order by shutting down the train that runs to airport terminals, but Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, reversed that decision, saying people had the right to protest.
“The people of New York will have their voices heard,” he declared.
District Judge Ann Donnelly in New York issued her own emergency order on Saturday night after lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union — a non-profit organisation that provides legal assistance for civil rights cases — filed a court petition on behalf of people detained at airports across the country as the ban took effect.
The order bars border agents from removing anyone arriving in the US with a valid visa from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. It also covers anyone with an approved refugee application.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent a message on Twitter to refugees rejected by Mr Trump: “To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada,” he tweeted.