Widespread protests against Trump ban order, air travellers most hit

Los Angeles, Feb 5 (IANS) Chaotic scenes were witnessed at the Los Angeles International Airport as protests against US President Donald Trump grew after a federal judge halted enforcement of the executive order barring refugees and people from select Muslim-majority nations entering the country.

Travellers has a tough time coming out of the airport, one of the busiest in the US, on Saturday afternoon as both anti- and pro-Trump protesters blocked almost all exits, shouting slogans amid heavy police deployment.

Irfana, one of the anti-Trump supporters at the rally outside the airport, told IANS: “We have a ray of hope after the federal judge blocked the enforcement of Trump’s executive order instituting the travel ban. We know that the battle will now go to the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and even to Supreme Court, but we believe in the law of the land.”

According to her, the fight is not only about the Trump ban on people from Muslim-majority nations from entering the US.

“The fight has a broader meaning. We want the government to restore civil rights, minority rights and true liberty of immigrants in the country,” Irfana said, hailing the work of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) which is fighting for the cause.

Later in the day, the US Justice Department filed a formal notice of appeal on the court order suspending immigration ban.

“We’ll win. For the safety of our country, we’ll win,” Trump tweeted.

“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” Trump had earlier tweeted.

Media reports said it was unusual for a President to attack a member of the judiciary, which the US Constitution designates as a check to the power of the executive branch and Congress.

According to Daniel, who works at the LA airport, the situation created by the protests is not acceptable as this has affected day-to-day life.

“I don’t like this situation. I hope a solution to this issue arrives soon and the country comes back to normal,” he told IANS.

But Trump had his supporters too at the airport. James, who was part of a pro-Trump rally, told IANS: “The US has become a country of immigrants and refugees. We want our land, our jobs back. We support Trump and believe he will get us our country back.”

Meanwhile, after the ruling by the US District Court Senior Judge James L. Robart, the State Department said it had reinstated thousands of visas. The provisional revocation of visas under Trump’s executive order has been reversed, a State Department official told Efe news agency.

The official added that people with visas that were not physically cancelled may now travel if the visa is otherwise valid.

On January 27, Trump issued an executive order that banned citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US.

The order has been met with widespread protests across the globe, with multiple lawsuits already filed in the US and many more expected in the coming days.

(Nishant Arora can be contacted at nishant.a@ians.in)

–IANS

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