Trump’s Travel Ban Leads to Chaos at Airports

Trump’s Travel Ban Leads to Chaos at Airports

It is only week two of President Trump’s administration and it’s clear the controversies are just beginning. Tens of thousands of people rallied in U.S. cities and at airports on Sunday to voice outrage over President Donald Trump's executive order restricting entry into the country for travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

Although the protest begins at JFK in response to news that Customs and Border Patrol was holding two Iraqis in detention, demonstrations spread nationwide. Stories of Muslims held in limbo came to light in major transportation hubs across the United States. By the end of the night, judges in New York City, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington State have blocked parts of Trump's order.

Trump’s Travel Ban Leads to Chaos at Airports Donald Trump's executive order

At Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C., for example, hundreds of protesters packed the international arrivals hall. Passengers disembarking from flights who were citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, and Sudan were being detained by Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Dozens of lawyers who had assembled near the protesters were not permitted to see the detainees. Despite an order issued by a federal judge earlier in the evening instructing CBP to give legal permanent residents of the U.S. access to lawyers and forbidding their removal for seven days.

"To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting," Trump said. "This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe."

Donald Trump Chaos at Airports

Among the most visible demonstrations was in New York City. Outside of John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, a handful of people turned into hundreds on Saturday. By the evening, New York Taxi Drivers Alliance had declared an hour-long moratorium on passenger pick-ups, and the JFK AirTrain had been halted.

Disrupting airport operations isn’t new. In the past, Heathrow International Airport – one of the busiest in the world ­– has been brought to its knees by a handful of racial justice activists. It has also targeted by climate change protesters. American airports, too, have seen recent demonstrations over workers’ rights. But nothing in recent memory compares to the strength and scope of the protests this weekend.