By Patrice L
Huge crowds of protesters came together on Sunday January 29, at Detroit Metro Airport to rally against President Trump’s executive order suspending the United States Refugee system for a period of 120 days, banning Syrian refugees until further notice, and barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US including Syria, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. The ban includes anyone re-entering the country on a green card.
“It’s inhuman, statistically Muslims are least likely to be terrorists,” said senior Mandy Ta, “This is more likely to alienate than create safety. It will only cause tension for the future.”
The fallout struck with full force Saturday, blocking some travelers from boarding their planes overseas, compelling others to turn around upon arrival in the U.S., and prompting customs agents at JFK Airport to detain at least a dozen people, including a former Iraqi translator for the U.S. military in Baghdad.
Earlier there were protests in Dearborn and Hamtramck, but the Metro Airport protest was by far the largest with an estimated 2,500 gathering in different parts, including hundreds who packed into the baggage claim area. They carried signs that said “Christians supporting Muslims,” “Resist,” and “No Ban!” they chanted: “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here” on two levels of the McNamara Terminal near the international arrival and departure areas.
The executive order, which Trump said was to protect Americans from terrorist attacks, singled out Syrian refugees as “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” The move, he said, will give his administration time to establish a more selective screening process to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,” he said.
The executive order ran into at least a temporary roadblock Saturday night, when a U.S. District judge granted an emergency stay, halting the part of Trump’s executive order that barred citizens from those seven countries for the next 90 days. The judge’s ruling applies to those who have already arrived in the U.S. and those who are in transit who hold valid visas.
Opponents say the ban is Islamophobic and reminiscent to a dark time in American history, when Japanese-Americans were interned in relocation camps during World War II.The growing chaos also sparked legal challenges from the American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups along with protests, condemnations from politicians and denunciations from advocacy groups.
“I think it’s unconstitutional and immoral. It’s scary that people haven’t seemed to learn from history,” said senior Dasha Abbas, “This country was and continues to be built by immigrants and it’s time we truly start to recognize that”.
In brief remarks Saturday, Trump maintained the order isn’t a “Muslim ban.” “It’s working out very nicely. We’re going to have a strict ban, and we’re going to have extreme vetting, which we should have had in this country for many years,” he said.
“I think that lives in the Middle East aren’t validated and aren’t understood and these assumptions on a specific part of the world divide us,” said sophomore Christina Oyinkolade.