President Donald Trump sparked protests that continued on into Monday after signing an executive order which prohibits travel from several Muslim-majority countries.
Trump and his administration argued the temporary travel ban is designed to protect the country. Those opposed see it as religious discrimination and an overreach of executive powers. The order was signed Friday sparking national protests. The protests continued into the week with many gathering Monday outside the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I’m just coming in solidarity with a lot of things I’ve been discussing with friends and family,” Chase Williams, a protester, told InsideSoruces. “To me, America is a place that is welcoming, it’s a place that already heavily vets refugees, it’s a place that places a premium on helping the least of those. That’s what brought me out here tonight. ”
“It warms my heart that this much humanity came out to standup for immigrants and refugees,” Rudi Riet, a protester, told InsideSources. He adds the executive order “seem to go counter to everything America has stood for over the years. It’s as if the president didn’t read the words that are at the base of the Statue of Liberty which was in his front yard.”
The executive order temporarily bars citizens from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan. It came suddenly resulting in 109 travelers from those countries being detained. They were already in transit on their way into the country when the order was signed. For some protesters, the order came as a personal blow.
“I’m a first generation Iranian-American and my parents both became citizens during my adult life and both of them met in the United States as non-citizens so its an issue that’s dear to my heart in a way,” Maramany, a protester, told InsideSources. “From a personal standpoint, I’ve grown up always feeling life a hyphenated American, and so this kind of enforces those personal feelings.”
Federal Judge Ann Donnelly issued an emergency stay Saturday by stating travelers who have already arrived with a valid visa could not be deported. Protesters over the weekend quickly converged onto airports and cities from across the country. The New York Post reports that everyone detained has since been released.
“I think what Donald Trump is doing goes against what the country should stand for,” Maramany said. “It’s definitely startling to a lot of people and I think it makes a lot of people kind of alarmed because this country, I think, should feel like a beacon of hope for everyone.”
Many protesters believe the executive order goes against what the country stands for. Several courts have issued a partial or complete stay on the order as its legality comes into question. Congressional Democrats have urged the administration to obey the courts and are looking to pass a law to reverse the order.
“It’s just frustrating,” Michael Broyles, a protester, told InsideSources. “I know a lot of people that are being affected by this personally and it’s just not looking good. I think a lot of these people are fed up already with how things are going with this administration.”
Trump and his administration argued Sunday that the order isn’t designed to discriminate against Muslims. They instead state its targeted towards countries known for terrorism. The administration plans to lift the ban once it can properly vet travelers from those regions.
“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border,” Trump said. “To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting. This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe.”
Trump added that former President Barack Obama issued a similar ban in 2011. He notes the seven countries included in the executive order have previously been identified by the last administration as sources of terror. Critics have pointed out the ban leaves out several countries where terrorists have actually come from.
“The places they are banning are cherry-picked countries,” Broyles said. “Part of it seems to be business interests on Mr. Trump’s part but it seems, just in general, it just doesn’t add up.”
The protests are showing no signs of slowing down with more rallies scheduled over the coming week. It marks the latest in a series of protests the president has faced since first being elected and even throughout his campaign.