Home / National News / Activists Set for More Protests as Last of Airport Detainees Cleared

 

(NEW YORK) — Activists across the country are gearing up this week to continue a wave of protests that broke out over the weekend in response to President Donald Trump’s immigration ban.

The planned gatherings come as a Department of Homeland Security official confirmed to ABC News early Monday that no more individuals were being detained at U.S. airports over the president’s executive order.

The DHS official said there were 735 encounters at U.S. ports of entry related to the executive order as of Sunday evening. More than half of the people caught up in the order, 394, were legal permanent residents, all but two of whom entered the country.

One of the legal permanent residents who did not enter the country was at a Canadian border crossing and got tired of waiting and left, the official said, while the second was discovered to have a criminal record and was not admitted. A total of 348 individuals were recommended by DHS to be denied boarding at foreign airports.

As of Monday morning, demonstrators planned about 10 gatherings this week at major U.S. airports, according to GroundGame, an organizing platform that tracks protests via social media. There were also a handful of demonstrations scheduled in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Thousands of protesters turned out over the weekend to voice their opinions on President Trump’s executive order, which restricts entry into the U.S. for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The policy, announced on Friday, also indefinitely bans Syrian refugees seeking asylum.

Passengers were detained or sent home from at least 10 different airports and hundreds of would-be travelers around the world were barred from boarding U.S.-bound flights, airport officials said.

The protests were mostly peaceful, although there were reports of at least one fight involving a small group of counter-protesters in Portland. According to witnesses, one counter-protester was punched in the face at the Port of Portland on Sunday, ABC News affiliate KATU reported.

Airport police equipped with riot gear quickly surrounded the man and carried him away, the report said. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for a head injury.

In New York, hundreds of people rallied at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday to protest the president’s order, chanting “No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here. No hate, no fear, Muslims are welcome here.”

The protesters there received statements of support from local politicians, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Others took to social media to back the demonstrations with posts using the “OccupyAirports” and “NoBanNoWall” hashtags.

Separately, more than one million people signed an online petition urging U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May to cancel Trump’s upcoming state visit to the U.K.

“Donald Trump should be allowed to enter the U.K. in his capacity as head of the U.S. Government, but he should not be invited to make an official State Visit because it would cause embarrassment to Her Majesty the Queen,” the petition says.

The U.K. Parliament considers all petitions that get more than a million signatures for a debate, according to its official website.

Dozens of people who had been detained while trying to enter the country over the weekend were released on Sunday, according to ABC News research.

Federal lawsuits filed in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington challenged the law, with experts expecting more to come.

In a statement on its website, the Department of Homeland Security said it was complying with emergency judicial rulings issued earlier that temporarily halted parts of Trump’s order.

“We are committed to ensuring that all individuals affected by the executive orders, including those affected by the court orders, are being provided all rights afforded under the law,” the statement said.

President Trump defended his policy on Sunday, insisting to his 23 million followers that the policy was not a Muslim ban.

“This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” he said in a statement.

In a tweet, he said, “Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world — a horrible mess!”

 

Our country needs strong borders and extreme vetting, NOW. Look what is happening all over Europe and, indeed, the world – a horrible mess!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2017

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