Thousands Descend on Battery Park for 2nd Straight Day of Travel Ban Protests

What to Know

  • Thousands of people marched from the Statue of Liberty Viewpoint to the Customs and Border Patrol offices in lower Manhattan
  • New York Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer addressed the crowd.
  • President Trump denied Sunday that his order was a "Muslim ban" and pledged "to show compassion to those fleeing oppression."

Thousands of people gathered Sunday in lower Manhattan, within sight of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, to denounce the immigration ban enacted by President Donald Trump.

Picket signs with slogans including "America was built by refugees," and "Muslim ban is un-American" bobbed through the crowd. Demonstrators, bundled up in coats, hats and scarves, marched from the Statue of Liberty Viewpoint to the Customs and Border Patrol offices near Broadway and Worth Street in the Financial District.

"For President Trump to slam the door, to say no, that means we have to fight, we have to stand strong,"  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand told the crowd. "We must not give in, we must never forget! Fight for what you believe in. Never stop fighting!"

Trump denied Sunday that his order was a "Muslim ban" and pledged "to show compassion to those fleeing oppression."

Trump's order places a 90-day travel restriction on immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen attempting to gain entry into the country. In addition, the decree indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from entering the U.S.

The crowd chanted: "Aqui estamos, y no nos vamos, y si nos echan, nos regresamos!" which in English translates to "We are here, and we're not leaving, and if you throw us out, we'll come back!"

The chant was followed by a roar of applause and cheers as Sen. Charles Schumer took the podium holding a red sign that said "New Yorkers for Justice!" above his head. He smiled as he shook the sign before leading a chorus.

"The people united, will never be defeated!" he chanted before thanking demonstrators for their presence. "We are gonna win this fight everybody!"

Crowds were so large that straphangers were unable to get out of the Whitehall-South Ferry subway station hours before the march began.

Police said that five people were arrested in Manhattan — four people for disorderly conduct and one person for some sort of fake identification. 

People also protested for a second day at JFK Airport's Terminal 4. The airport warned travelers to plan extra time due to crowds. 

At least a dozen people, including an Iraqi man who worked for the U.S. government as a translator for a decade, were detained by Customs and Border Patrol officials at JFK. 

Six people remained detained there Sunday evening, U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley said. He said all were expected to be released Sunday night. 

Demonstrators also flooded the Philadelphia International Airport in protest Sunday afternoon. The international arrivals hall was so crowded with demonstrators that employees had to redirect them to baggage claim, officials tweeted from the airport's account.

Two Syrian families who had arrived from Doha, Qatar Saturday were questioned by CBP officials at Philadelphia International Airport before they were immediately sent on a return flight home.

Permanent residency "green card" holders trying to get back into the U.S. were also detained at airports nationwide, despite White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus telling Chuck Todd the executive order "doesn't affect" green card holders on "Meet The Press" Sunday morning.

Seven detainees are still being processed at Terminal 4, and a legal permanent resident who is believed to be an Iranian national is in custody at Terminal 7, Jeffries said. He said he believes all detainees will be released.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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