Donald Trump

Protesters Take to JFK Airport, Queens Streets

What to Know

  • Hundreds of thousands of people across the nation have protested President Trump's executive order since it was issued last Friday
  • JFK Airport, where several people were detained, was the site of a number of protests over the weekend
  • On Thursday, a group of Yemeni business owners shut down their delis, grocery stores and bodegas across NYC to protest the order

Faith leaders, immigrants and local advocates gathered at John F. Kennedy International Airport Friday for an interfaith action and prayer demonstration against President Trump's executive order imposing travel restrictions on people from seven Muslim-majority countries. 

About 150 people showed up for the peaceful protest and prayer at JFK's Terminal 4, an event organized by the New York Immigration Coalition and the Islamic Leadership Council (Majlis Ash-shura) of Metropolitan New York. 

Muslims and immigrants could be heard chanting "No ban, no wall, this is our New York!" throughout the airport Friday afternoon.

Protesters later took to the Astoria neighborhood of Queens, where they were joined by lawmakers. 

"The unity that the people have shown and the support for those touched by the Executive Orders made it clear that we are together defending justice, equality and religious freedom," the coalition said in a statement. 

Representatives of the New York Immigration Coalition and other legal counseling organizations have responded to JFK en masse to offer translating services, advice and assistance since last week's presidential decree prompted the detention of dozens of people across the country, including several at the Queens hub.

Demonstrator Hadiya Abdel Rahman works with refugees. For her, the ban is personal: her mother, who is a green card holder, faces uncertainty as she awaits her return to the U.S.

"My mom is currently out of the country and a green card holder," she said. "The executive order is flip-floppy, so it's very stressful for our family to figure out if my mom comes back into the country."

Today's protest is a stark contrast to last weekend's less restrained demonstrations at airports across the country. Diana Dinh gets emotional when she thinks of the families detained.

"It's deeply personal as Americans to show sustained support for our community and send a strong message to the White House — this is un-American," she said.

Meanwhile, an Iraqi interpreter landed at the airport with his family on Friday, one week after they were pulled off a plane because of President Trump's immigration order. The administration reversed course and said interpreters who supported the U.S. military could come to America. 

Munther Alaskry and his family spent more than five hours doing paperwork after landing at JFK Airport, but he said they were treated very well. 

The airport's Terminal 4 was the site of protests through the weekend. 

Hundreds of thousands of people across America have engaged in protests since Trump signed the executive order last Friday afternoon establishing a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. for immigrants and refugees from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The order indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from entering the United States. 

On Thursday, a group of Yemeni business owners shut down their delis, grocery stores and bodegas across New York City for eight hours in protest of the executive order. Many rallied at Brooklyn Borough Hall Thursday evening, waving U.S. and Yemen flags and chanting, "No ban, no wall, N-Y-C for all."

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