Protests sprang up at airports around the country on Saturday, including Bradley International in Windsor Locks.
At the BDL arrivals gate, a few dozen people — a number of Hartford residents among them — welcomed travelers with signs supporting immigrants, refugees, and Muslims.
The airport protests popped up when Trump’s executive order signed on Friday afternoon (Holocaust Remembrance Day) created chaos for green-card holders from the predominately Muslim countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as travel by nationals from those countries has been blocked
for 90 days. A green card signifies that the individual has been granted permanent resident status after being vetted by immigration or consular services to ensure that the person does not pose health, criminal, or security concerns for the United States. Trump’s order has suspended for 120 days entry into the U.S. by refugees from all countries; Syrian refugees have been singled out and blocked indefinitely.
According to PBS, the “the executive order does not restrict immigration from any of the top ten countries listed by the House of Representatives’ Homeland Security Committee in 2015 as suppliers of militants fighting for ISIS, nor does it restrict travel from countries that have been primary sources for al Qaeda operatives, like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, which was home to 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers.”
With the ink barely dry, travelers with visas were detained at airports. Among them, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, who the New York Times says worked for the United States Army and government for ten years in Iraq.
On Saturday, a federal judge blocked part of Trump’s order. It does not restore conditions, but will prevent deportations of those 100-200 people who have already been detained at airports in the United States.
With the stay in place, protestors continued to arrive at Bradley late into the evening. A few opposing perspectives were aired over several hours — including a “God Bless Trump,” a cryptic message about the Orlando shooting, and a suggestion posed at 10:45 on Saturday evening that protestors get jobs — but the sweeping majority of travelers responded with applause and other signs of support, or moved on their way without engaging. One traveler thanked her greeters profusely before breaking into tears.
While yesterday’s protest was spontaneous, CAIR Connecticut is organizing people to return to Bradley on Sunday afternoon.