JFK airport protest refugees

Large Protests Break out at JFK Airport over Refugee Detainment

A day after Donald Trump signed the shameful Executive Order (EO) to ban Muslim immigrants from entering the U.S., countless numbers of people are being detained at John F. Kennedy International (JFK) Airport. Among them are an Iranian scientist headed to a lab in Boston, an Iraqi who had worked for a decade as an interpreter for the U.S. Army, and a Syrian refugee family headed to a new life in Ohio. One woman, who was distressed over being forced back to her native country, attempted to kill herself.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with several groups, has filed a lawsuit this morning on behalf of two Iraqi men who were en route to the U.S. on immigrant visas when Trump issued the EO and they were detained upon arrival. One of them was Hameed Khalid Darweesh. As of early afternoon on Saturday, Iraqi citizen Darweesh, 53, was released. Darweesh worked as an interpreter for the U.S. military in Iraq, which caused local militia to threaten his life.

Micheal Moore and other activists have called on people via Twitter to head to JFK Terminal 4 to join an anti-Trump protest against the ban.

Two members of congress, as well as roughly 150 protestors, were at JFK to register their objection to the ban and the detainment. They described a scene of contradictory orders and confusion regarding travelers who were already en route to the United States at the time the ban was ordered. This video shows the crowd chanting, “Let them in! Let them in!”

The number of protestors at JFK continues to grow.


The New York Taxi Workers Alliance joined the protests at JFK. They called for a one-hour work stoppage starting at 6 P.M. with no pick ups or drop offs to JFK. They issued a statement saying, “Our 19,000-member-strong union stands firmly opposed to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. As an organization whose membership is largely Muslim, a workforce that’s almost universally immigrant, and a working-class movement that is rooted in the dense of the oppressed, we say no to this inhumane and unconstitutional ban.”