Protest is only intensifying across the United States against Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban on people travelling in the country from seven predominantly Muslim nations. Thousands of angry demonstrators holding placards and banners opposing the new migrant law gathered at many airports and streets amid mounting lawsuits.
In a significant development, there are reports of rumblings within the ruling Republican Party over the President’s last week executive order blocking the visitors from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.
Even former US president Barack Obama expressed his objections to any discrimination against people entering the country.
Protesters in large numbers gathered outside the White House and raised slogans like ‘This is what America looks like!’, ‘The people united, will never be divided’ and ‘No hate, no fear, refugees are welcome here,’ as they waved the American flag and held placards.
Similar protests were held across the nation and at airports, where confusion continued to prevail over the order after a New York judge’s order temporarily halting removal of individuals detained in the country.
People gathered at Battery Park in Lower Manhattan, within sight of the Statue of Liberty, Boston’s Copley Square as well as popular spots across San Francisco demonstrating and extending their support and solidarity with refugees and those impacted by the ban.
Hundreds of protesters had gathered at the Dulles International Airport, while at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, scores of Muslims pulled out their prayer rugs and knelt, and at least 50 people were taken into police custody.
Leaders from the Trump’s Republican Party too criticised the order.
In a joint statement, Arizona Senator John McCain and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham called Trump’s travel ban a “self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.”
“This executive order sends a signal, intended or not, that America does not want Muslims coming into our country. That is why we fear this executive order may do more to help terrorist recruitment than improve our security,” the two Republican senators said.
Representative Will Hurd from Texas called it “the ultimate display of mistrust”, while Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, Tennessee, said the order “has been poorly implemented, especially with respect to green card holders.”
“This was an extreme vetting program that wasn’t properly vetted,” the Republican Senator from Ohio, Rob Portman told CNN.
Earlier, a federal judge in New York blocked part of Trump’s executive order on immigration, ruling that authorities could not remove individuals from seven Muslim- majority countries who had arrived in US airports after the order had been issued.
Also, 16 Democratic state attorneys general issued a joint statement calling Trump’s move “unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful” and vowing to fight it in court.
Flaying the new law, Barack Obama too expressed his objection, saying he is “heartened” by protests that have taken place across the country.
“With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the president fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” his spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement.
(With inputs from the Agencies)