Amid waves of global outrage, activist groups around the country have announced rallies today; at the White House, at the Custom House in NY, and at several airports including LAX, SFO, SeaTac, and Dulles, to protest the Trump administration’s ban on accepting refugees from seven majority-Muslim countries. Here is the announcement of the New York rally at 2:
Last night in Brooklyn, a federal judge issued a stay on a portion of the order, for those at American airports.
Iraqi refugee Hameed Darweesh was freed at Kennedy yesterday afternoon after an 18-hour detention, and was joined by Congresspeople Jerrold Nadler and Nydia Velasquez. Darweesh was an army translator for the United States, and said that the U.S. is the greatest country in the world.
This is stirring: Last night at Minneapolis St Paul airport, demonstrators sang America the Beautiful and crowds at San Francisco Airport chanted “From Palestine to Mexico all the borders got to go!”
— Rebecca Pierce (@aptly_engineerd) January 29, 2017
Demonstrators at LAX chanted “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here”:
— julia arce (@julia_arceee) January 29, 2017
From the National Immigration Law Center. “Huge News!”
And 500 people showed up at a moment’s notice to stand in the cold outside a Brooklyn courthouse to show public support.
Thank you to everyone who came out!
Here is a wonderful video of the celebration outside the Brooklyn courthouse when the stay on the order was granted.
— Kate O'Neill (@kateo) January 29, 2017
From the Times:
A federal judge blocked part of President Trump’s executive order on immigration on Saturday evening, ordering that refugees and others trapped at airports across the United States should not be sent back to their home countries. But the judge stopped short of letting them into the country or issuing a broader ruling on the constitutionality of Mr. Trump’s actions.Lawyers who sued the government to block the White House order said the decision, which came after an emergency hearing in a New York City courtroom, could affect an estimated 100 to 200 people who were detained upon arrival at American airports in the wake of the order that Mr. Trump signed on Friday afternoon, a week into his presidency.Judge Ann M. Donnelly of Federal District Court in Brooklyn, who was nominated by former President Barack Obama, ruled just before 9 p.m. that implementing Mr. Trump’s order by sending the travelers home could cause them “irreparable harm.”
Here is that order, from the National Immigration Law Center:
MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin’s tweet quotes a senior White House official, stating the court order does not undercut Trump’s authority and his order “remains in place”:
— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) January 29, 2017
However, Seattle Times reports that two men who had been detained at SeaTac, one from Yemen and the other from Sudan, were released this morning following another court order, this time from U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly at the behest of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP). Initially U.S. Customs refused to comply with Judge Zilly’s court order until Homeland Security issued statement it would comply with both judicial orders, and Trump’s executive order:
The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement President Trump’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.
And Washington state governor Jay Inslee, as well as other elected officials, held a news conference at SeaTac slamming Trump’s policy, saying “It can’t stand. We’re drawing the line here at Sea-Tac”, calling the racist policy un-American and a “train wreck“:
“These people couldn’t run a two-car funeral,” Inslee said of the White House. “It is a train wreck. It can’t stand. We’re drawing the line here at Sea-Tac.”
Meantime, in an indication of Steve Bannon’s high status, NPR and the BBC are reporting that Trump has elevated the chief strategist, who has made Islamophobic statements, to a regular seat on his national security council, and downgraded certain intelligence officials. And the UK’s Mirror reports General Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff and the highest ranking US military officer from the National Security Council, will no longer be a permanent member of the council and has been replaced by Bannon. Train wreck indeed.
NY taxi drivers refused pickups at Kennedy airport last night for an hour in protest. Here is the taxi drivers’ statement on the “Muslim ban,” which cites their own safety and their own religious freedom:
Professional drivers are over 20 times more likely to be murdered on the job than other workers. By sanctioning bigotry with his unconstitutional and inhumane executive order banning Muslim refugees from seven countries, the president is putting professional drivers in more danger than they have been in any time since 9/11 when hate crimes against immigrants skyrocketed.
Our 19,000-member-strong union stands firmly opposed to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. As an organization whose membership is largely Muslim, a workforce that’s almost universally immigrant, and a working-class movement that is rooted in the defense of the oppressed, we say no to this inhumane and unconstitutional ban.
We know all too well that when government programs sanction outright Islamophobia, and the rhetoric of hate is spewed from the bully pulpit, hate crimes increase and drivers suffer gravely. Our Sikh and other non-Muslim brown and black members also suffer from anti-Muslim violence.
Today, drivers are joining the protest at JFK Airport in support of all those who are currently being detained at the airport because of Trump’s unconstitutional executive order. Drivers stand in solidarity with refugees coming to America in search of peace and safety and with those who are simply trying to return to their homes here in America after traveling abroad. We stand in solidarity with all of our peace-loving neighbors against this inhumane, cruel, and unconstitutional act of pure bigotry.
— Leighton Woodhouse (@lwoodhouse) January 29, 2017
Mara Liasson of NPR and others have observed that anyone who contended that Trump didn’t mean what he said during the campaign is wrong.
Outrage is building across the world on the refugee denial. Here is Ambassador Craig Murray in England:
it is also worth pointing out that nearly all the recent Islamic terrorist activities against Western, including Turkish, targets were carried out by people from either Tunisia or Central Asia. Those countries are not included either. So plainly the ban or freeze is not really intended to do what it says on the tin. It should be repeated always that the risk from Islamic terrorism to individuals in the West is extremely small, and has always been well less than 1% of the risk of being killed in a road accident.
The most disgraceful aspect of the ban is the notion that it does not apply to religious minority groups in the named countries, such as Christians, Yazidis and Jews. All the countries named are majority Muslim, so in effect it imposes a religious test. It is a ban plainly targeted by religion and not by nationality, and if the US court system had any integrity would be struck down on that basis. This is reinforced by the fact that other non-religious minorities facing persecution, such as gays, are not excluded from the ban.
— Carollani (@carollani) January 29, 2017
Amazing video pans the enormous crowd at SeaTac demonstration:
— Sam Levine (@samlevine) January 29, 2017
Here is journalist Dan Swanson at Kennedy airport last night:
Updated. Thanks to Ilene Cohen and John Haines.