‘Muslim Ban’ Meets Opposition

Unrest in Streets, Airports, Courtrooms

Members of the House and Senate rally at the Supreme Court against President Trump's immigration ban on Monday, Jan. 30.
Members of the House and Senate rally at the Supreme Court against President Trump's immigration ban on Monday, Jan. 30. (Mark Mahoney)

Thousands of people gathered at the White House Sunday, Jan. 29, to protest President Trump’s executive order denying U.S. entry to people from seven Muslim-majority nations, as well as refugees from around the world.

Coordinated through a simple Facebook event page labeled “No Muslim Ban,” posting only a time and location, the protest drew a massive crowd.

“Our diversity is our strength,” Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, the first Latina to be elected to the Senate, told the crowd. “The only problem is we have a president sitting in the White House who thinks it’s OK to have hate, discrimination and racism in the White House.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris has been extremely vocal about her opposition to the order, derisively dubbing it a “Muslim ban.”

“We are here to stand to say, we are always going to fight for this country and our ideals,” Harris said.

Hundreds of protesters demonstrate near the White House and Capitol on Sunday, Jan. 29 against President Trump's Muslim ban.
Hundreds of protesters demonstrate near the White House and Capitol on Sunday, Jan. 29 against President Trump’s Muslim ban. (Mark Mahoney)

Demonstrations erupted nationwide in cities such as New York, Boston and San Francisco, after Trump signed an executive order Friday, that denied entry to citizens from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia for 90 days. The directive also banned refugees from Syria indefinitely, suspended all other refugee resettlement for 120 days, and reduced the number of refugees to be resettled in the United States this year by more than half.

Just over an hour into the D.C. protest, the antsy crowd descended on the streets in an impromptu march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Trump International Hotel.

Bayadir Mohamdosman stood alongside her friend and fellow American University student Taylor Dumpson for hours. Both of their phones had died, and they had no idea how long they’d been outside, but neither were in any hurry to leave.

“As a Sudanese Muslim refugee, I want to support my communities because I was granted the opportunities that other people I know are never going to get. That’s not the America I was promised,” said Mohamdosman, who migrated to the U.S. at 5 years old and is now an American citizen.

“Immigrants built this nation, slaves built this nation, and refugees are absolutely welcome here, and I think our current president has no idea what’s really going on in the hearts and minds of people in America,” Dumpson said.

Another protest is scheduled at the White House for Saturday.

Demonstrations erupted nationwide in cities such as New York, Boston and San Francisco, after Trump signed an executive order Friday, that denied entry to citizens from Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Sudan and Somalia for 90 days. The directive also banned refugees from Syria indefinitely, suspended all other refugee resettlement for 120 days, and reduced the number of refugees to be resettled in the United States this year by more than half.

Many of the protests are tied together on social media with the hashtag, #NoBanNoWall.

“We have no doubt that the motivation behind the executive order was discriminatory. This was a Muslim ban wrapped in a paper-thin national security rationale,” the American Civil Liberties Union said in a blog post. “The executive order went into effect immediately and so did its destructive intent.”

For two days, the ban also applied to green card holders, who are now being admitted entry on a case-by-case basis.

Travelers were left stranded around the world and some detained in airports around the country as a result of the travel ban, leading to protests at major airports in the United States.

While a protest was being held at the White House, hundreds of people crowded the international arrivals lounge in Dulles International Airport, many of them immigration lawyers ready to offer legal assistance to detainees.

Thousands of people showed up at John F. Kennedy Airport over the weekend to protest the ban. Taxi drivers also refused to give rides from the airport. Los Angeles International Airport saw closures of some of its terminals due to massive protest crowds. About 5,000 protesters gathered at Philadelphia International Airport over the weekend on behalf of detainees causing traffic issues near the airport.

New York U.S. District Court Judge Ann Donnelly ruled in favor of a habeas corpus petition filed by the ACLU on behalf of two Iraqi men who were detained at JFK Friday, which put a temporary halt to the deportation of refugees with previously approved applications and those in transit with valid visas and became one of a many legal challenges to the order.

Similar rulings were later issued in Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington state.

Trump fired Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, on Monday after she publicly questioned the constitutionality his refugee and immigration ban and refused to defend it in court. Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia was immediately announced as Yates’ replacement.

Amid protests, Trump defended the order.

“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” he said in a statement Sunday. “This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”

He compared his policy to one enacted by former president Barack Obama, which suspended visa process for Iraqi refugees for six months. Unlike Obama’s order, however, Trump’s applies to current visa holders.

D.C. resident Harpaul Kholi said he plans to organize a daily protest at the Trump International Hotel, which is blocks from the White House and Capitol.

“This is a good place to protest,” Kohli said.

He said he hopes the protests will deter visitors from staying at the hotel, call attention to Trump’s potential conflicts of interest — and “bug” him.

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About Tatyana Hopkins – Washington Informer Contributing Writer 113 Articles
Tatyana Hopkins has always wanted to make the world a better place. Growing up she knew she wanted to be a journalist. To her there were too many issues in the world to pick a career that would force her to just tackle one. The recent Howard University graduate is thankful to have a job and enjoys the thrill she gets from chasing the story, meeting new people and adding new bits of obscure information to her knowledge base. Dubbed with the nickname “Fun Fact” by her friends, Tatyana seems to be full of seemingly “random and useless” facts. Meanwhile, the rising rents in D.C. have driven her to wonder about the length of the adverse possession statute of limitations (15 years?). Despite disliking public speaking, she remembers being scolded for talking in class or for holding up strangers in drawn-out conversations. Her need to understand the world and its various inhabitants frequently lands her in conversations on topics often deemed taboo: politics, religion and money. Tatyana avoided sports in high school she because the thought of a crowd watching her play freaked her out, but found herself studying Arabic, traveling to Egypt and eating a pigeon. She uses social media to scope out meaningful and interesting stories and has been calling attention to fake news on the Internet for years.
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