Protesters plan two candlelight daytime vigils Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport to oppose President Trump’s executive order temporarily halting immigration from selected Muslim-majority nations, despite news that a federal judge has blocked its enforcement.
The protests are scheduled for 11 a.m and 1 p.m. at the departures level of Tom Bradley International Terminal at 380 World Way, according to Ester Lim of the Service Employees International Union.
At least 300 people protested the executive order at LAX Saturday afternoon, Maria Elena Jauregui of the SEIU said. They were joined by protesters at other airports around the nation with same outrage over the Administration’s decisions.
Observers said the protests began as word spread about dozens of people being detained or turned away as friends and relatives came to meet them.
The federal court emergency stay of the secutive order made it “a remarkable day,” according to American Civil Liberties Union executive director Anthony D. Romero. “The courts can work.”
At the same time, it created considerable confusion for many as it was unclear what would happen next.
“Awaiting info on the detained,” immigration attorney Nicholas Mireles said in an email to City News Service. “Only LPRs ( Legal Permanent Residents) have been released. No visa holders unfortunately.”
The American Civil Liberties Union reported seven people were detained at LAX under the executive order, Lim said. The ACLU brought the class action lawsuit that led the federal court in New York to issue the emergency stay.
Airport spokesman Don Pedregon said officials there were aware of planned events and would monitor the situation and make adjustments, if necessary.
Another protest promoted on social media drew about 60 demonstrators to the federal building at 300 N. Los Angeles St. Sunday.
Protesters chanted: “No ban, no wall,” “Say it loud, say it clear. Immigrants are welcome here.”
Signs read: “We are all immigrants,” “Love Trumps hate. Don’t discriminate,” and “Muslim ban-un-American.”
A woman who would only identify herself as Hanna from Malibu told City News Service she decided to join the protest on the spur of the moment. One side of her handwritten sign was reminiscent of the character Donny in the iconic film “The Great Lebowski.” It read: “Forget it Donny. You’re out of your element,” referring to President Trump.
“Everyone needs a laugh,” she said.
“Los Angeles will always be a place of refuge, where the most vulnerable people fleeing war, or religious or political oppression, can find a safe and welcoming home,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Congress outlawed the banning of immigrants by nationality more than 50 years ago because we have long known it does not make us safer.”
Garcetti urged airport protesters to “remain calm and act lawfully and peacefully so LAX can continue to operate smoothly and our passengers stay safe.”
He promised “to do everything in my power to make certain that any travelers entering our city have the resources and support they need to feel secure and accepted in LA.”
Trump’s order, signed Friday, suspends all refugee entries for 120 days, indefinitely blocks all Syrian refugees, and bars entry for 90 days to all immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
The ban also applies to people with passports from more than one country including those not covered also those that are, green cards and student visas.
It does not apply to people from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. Political observers say these are all countries where Trump has business interests, but officials say these countries are also prominent U.S. allies.
— City News Service
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