Miami-Dade County

Protests planned in airports nationwide — including Miami — after Trump’s refugee ban

Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 after earlier in the day two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country. On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90 days. Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, which are all Muslim-majority nations.
Protesters assemble at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017 after earlier in the day two Iraqi refugees were detained while trying to enter the country. On Friday, Jan. 27, President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending all immigration from countries with terrorism concerns for 90 days. Countries included in the ban are Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, which are all Muslim-majority nations. AP

The day after President Donald Trump signed a sweeping executive order barring refugees from entering the U.S. and temporarily suspending immigration from countries with a majority of Muslims, activists began planning protests nationwide — including at Miami International Airport.

“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America,” Trump said Friday upon signing the order. “We don’t want them here.”

As the world continues to unpack the full extent of the executive order, the impacts of the ban in Miami-Dade were unclear Saturday. Representatives from MIA and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport deferred questions to the Miami office for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which did not return requests for comment.

In Miami, no direct flights were scheduled from any of the countries listed in the 90-day ban: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Officials from Florida International University, the University of Miami and University of Florida said the schools were only beginning to grapple with how the order would impact faculty and students.

On Friday, UM stated its commitment for undocumented students in a statement posted to its website that includes campus resources students with questions.

“The University of Miami is committed to providing its students, faculty, and staff of all nationalities and citizenship status with opportunities to nurture their talents and achieve their goals,” reads the statement.

South Florida politicos were mostly silent on Saturday, but activists sprung into action.

Allison Sardinas, a 26-year-old Florida International University graduate student, planned a protest from noon until 4 p.m. at Miami International Airport on Sunday.

“I know undocumented people that are very scared, and people with privilege have to step up,” she said.

Although there are no reports of stranded passengers affected by Trump’s ruling on Saturday night, Miami lawyer Debbie Ross tweeted at the Florida branch of the ACLU offering the legal services of herself and her friends.

It’s “not at all remotely my area of practice,” said Ross, a family and marital lawyer, but she said she was “willing to roll up my sleeves and put in whatever work they’d need.”

Information from the Associated Press was used for this report. Miami Herald staff writer Patricia Mazzei contributed to this report.

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