It’s been just a little over a week since Donald Trump’s inauguration sparked a massive protest for women’s rights, a peaceful gathering of over 4 million people from around the world. Since then, the president has continued stirring the pot of hate and division with a slew of executive orders.
On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order to put a freeze on immigration from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Sudan. The ban states that immigrants from these countries will not be allowed to enter the US for 90 days, and all refugee entries will be suspended entry for 120 days.
Interestingly enough, his immigration ban did not include Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates, four countries that have stronger ties to terrorism and with which Trump has had various business dealings.
The sudden executive action left a number of Middle Eastern immigrants blocked from entering the country or detained at the airport, even though many possessed visas or green cards. Those instantly affected by the ban were not terrorists, but rather students, scientists, engineers, and families. The immigration order might even prevent the Oscar -winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi from attending the Academy Awards.
Trump’s executive order saw an immediate reaction from both international leaders and people throughout the world. Iran responded to the immigration freeze by announcing that US citizens were no longer allowed in their country, while Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a heartwarming statement welcoming refugees to Canada “regardless of your faith.”
But the strongest retort to this executive order came Saturday from the American people, who gathered at international airports throughout the country to demand that the detained immigrants be released. The unplanned protest brought together thousands of protestors at airports in New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
Later that evening, a federal judge in Brooklyn temporarily blocked Trump’s executive order, preventing the government from deporting new arrivals who have found themselves trapped by the sudden immigration freeze. The judge’s swift ruling came after the A.C.L.U. testified that one person detained at an airport was already being deported back to Syria.
Trump’s immigration ban is yet another harrowing action by the new president, but the resulting victory for immigrants and protestors proves that the demagogue’s divisive rampage can be stopped when we all come together and take action.