Thousands protest travel ban at Philadelphia International Airport

Darin HammondJan 31, 2017

President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration caused immediate controversy.

The New York Taxi Alliance tweeted their support for the protest announcing a one hour work stoppage at the airport as a measure of solidarity.

Federal judges in Boston passed an order late Saturday night, saying Customs officials could not detain anyone exclusively on the basis of the executive order by President Donald Trump that bans citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. "We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say", he said in a statement Sunday afternoon. The wide-ranging order also halts Syrian refugees from resettling in America for the next 120 days with an aim to eventually cut those admitted by 50% to 50,000. That meant that even those with permanent residency "green cards" or other visas risked not being let back in to the United States. The order also affects individuals of those seven countries who hold dual citizenship with another country, for instance, those who hold both Iraqi and Canadian citizenships.

The exact number of those affected is unclear, but Donnelly ordered the government to provide lists of all those detained at USA airports since the measure went into effect. While the administration put new screening measures in place and re-screened Iraqi refugees already accepted into the US, the process for accepting new visas slowed significantly.

Following growing sentiment that the executive order constituted a "Muslim Ban", and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's contrasting message of welcome to all refugees.

Iran is among seven countries whose nationals are barred from entering the United States for 90 days under Trump's order.

"Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of Sept 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinising the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder almost 3,000 Americans".

The order provides for giving priority to religious minorities in those Muslim countries. Two Iraqi refugees, including an interpreter who worked for the US government in Iraq, were unable to contact their lawyers for hours.

New America also found that three potentially serious attacks in the U.S. since 9/11 that did not end up killing anyone were perpetrated by terrorists from countries that are covered by Trump's ban, two from Somalia and one from Iran.

"Ultimately, we fear this executive order will become a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism", they said.

The order also puts a ceiling of 50,000 on the number of refugees the United States will accept from around the world in 2017.

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