On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order focused on immigration that suspended the admission of refugees to the United States for 120 days. The order specifically barred Syrian refugees from entering entirely, and put a 90-day block on those traveling from countries with primarily Muslim populations (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). The order also bizarrely targeted green card holders from the listed countries, meaning previously vetted and approved residents would be barred from reentering the US. Within hours, airport authorities around the nation had begun to detain travelers, including Olympians, foreign politicians, small children, and people seeking asylum.
The public’s response was swift and sweeping. In cities and airports around the nation, protesters joined together with makeshift signs, chanting for the release of detainees and calling for action against Trump. Soon major airports like New York’s John F. Kennedy and Chicago’s O’Hare were swarmed with demonstrators, clogging entrances and forming peaceful standoffs with police. While Americans voiced their disdain for Trump’s racist and xenophobic policies, lawyers from the ACLU went to work through legal channels, eventually scoring a momentary victory against the seemingly unconstitutional policy. At around 8:45 p.m. Saturday, the federal court for the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency stay halting deportations under the executive order. Ann M. Donnelly, the judge who made the ruling, said that sending travelers back could cause “irreparable harm.”
But before the ruling, citizens’ voices were being heard loudly and clearly. The resistance to Trump certainly seems to be in full swing, and this is what it looked like yesterday in America.