Trump Denies ‘Muslim Ban' Amid Nationwide Protests

Trump issued a statement amid the protests, claiming his executive order is not a "Muslim ban" and blaming the media for portraying it as so

In cities across the U.S., demonstrations formed for a second straight day to protest President Trump's executive order that temporarily restricts entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries and indefinitely bans Syrian refugees from crossing into the country.

Trump issued a statement amid the protests, claiming his executive order is not a "Muslim ban" and blaming the media for portraying it as so. 

"To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting," the statement read. "This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe."

In New York, thousands of protesters streamed into the city's Battery Park to demand an end to the ban. 

An elderly husband and wife died in an apparent murder-suicide in Washington state, and police say they found notes about the couple's struggles to afford needed medical care, NBC News reported. A 77-year-old man called 911 on Wednesday morning saying he planned to die by suicide, the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. Deputies went to the home of the man in Ferndale, a town about 100 miles north of Seattle near the Canadian border, and set up outside. A crisis negotiator attempted to contact the couple in the home by phone and loudspeaker for about an hour, said the sheriff's office post on Wednesday night. They then found both the man and his wife, 76, dead inside. Authorities are investigating the case as a murder-suicide.

The big crowd gathered Sunday near the ferries that carry tourists to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the place where 12 million people entered the United States in the golden age of immigration.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer addressed the crowd, saying, "We are gonna win this fight everybody!"

People held signs with slogans including "America was built by refugees," and "Muslim ban is un-American."

The rally followed a night of big demonstrations at New York's Kennedy Airport, where thousands of people spontaneously gathered to demand the release of detained travelers.

South of New York in Philadelphia, protesters gathered at Philadelphia International Airport.

The protesters began waving signs and chanting "Let them in!" and other slogans Sunday afternoon. Protesters also gathered Saturday night at the airport.

[NATL] Trump Immigration Order Triggers Protests Across US

The American Civil Liberties union earlier said everyone detained at the airport was being released and no one else would be detained following a judge's order.

Deputy legal director Mary Catherine Roper of Pennsylvania ACLU said the decision cleared the way for three people detained overnight to continue to other U.S. destinations Sunday, while another person was allowed to leave Saturday night with relatives who are U.S. citizens.

In Washington, hundreds of demonstrators holding signs with slogans such as "No Ban, No Wall," and "We are all immigrants in America," gathered outside the White House.

Federal Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York Courthouse in Brooklyn granted an injunction in response to a request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and other legal organizations on behalf of individuals subject to President Trump’s immigration ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Vocal and expressive, the crowd was alternately solemn and warm in expressing peaceful solidarity with refugees affected by Trump's order.

Maryam Kanna, a 24-year-old Iraqi-American who lives in Arlington, Virginia, called the executive order "totally alienating." Kanna said she worries about her uncle, a British citizen, and her cousins in Canada, who may no longer be able to enter the U.S.

The crowd moved to the Trump International Hotel near the White House and chanted "the whole world is watching" from the street. 

Crowds gathered in protest at Dulles International Airport's international terminal for the second day in a row, and Sunday protesters amassed at Baltimore-Washington International Airport as well.

Protests also formed in DallasMiami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and San Francisco

Also on Sunday, attorneys general from 16 states and the District of Columbia issued a statement condemning the order.

“As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump's unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith," they wrote.

"We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created," the statement concluded.

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