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Hundreds protest at California airports over Trump order

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Large groups of protesters descended on California airports, blocking traffic and marching through an airline terminal to add their voices to the outrage over President Donald Trump’s order that bars nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

About 300 marched through Bradley Terminal at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday night after holding a candlelight vigil outside the airport.

Once they left the terminal, the diverse group of protesters rallied in front of the building and expressed their opposition to Trump’s executive order with chants such as “Not My Ban,” ”Yes We Can” and “Say It Loud, Say It Clear, Refugees Are Welcome Here.” One protester held a sign saying “Mexicans for Muslim.”

Some of those arriving at LAX were coming to visit the U.S., and others had lived here for years.

Dr. Yakdan Al Qaisi, a 62-year-old physician from Bakersfield, said his wife was detained for hours at the airport Saturday after she made a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. The pair are British citizens and have lived in the U.S. for more than two decades. Both have green cards.

“I expect this to happen everywhere in the world – except this country,” he said. “But it looks like this country is no different from anywhere else.”

Lawyer Talia Inlender said an Iranian woman scheduled to take her naturalization oath in February was detained after arriving on a flight from Amsterdam with her 1-year-old American son. She said U.S. authorities were not allowing lawyers access to the waiting room where travelers were held.

Meanwhile, hundreds more protesters blocked the street outside the international terminal at San Francisco International Airport to voice their opposition to Trump’s order.

Mozhgan Mostafavi was waiting inside Saturday for her 80-year-old father, who was traveling from Iran to have hip surgery and visit with family for his grandson’s birthday. He has a green card and has been here many times, she said, but his plane landed at 1 p.m. and as evening fell he had not emerged.

“I don’t know any Iranians who have been in a terrorist attack,” she said. “It’s so dehumanizing. It’s so insulting. I grew up during the Revolution in Iran and I feel that same suffocation. It’s hard to breathe.”

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee issued a statement Saturday night praising U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in New York for issuing an emergency order temporarily barring the U.S. from deporting people from nations subject to Trump’s travel ban.

“I commend the judge that granted the emergency stay today, allowing Muslim immigrants with valid visas to enter the United States. As the son of Chinese immigrants, I am disgusted by the President’s Executive Order to target the Muslim community and ban immigrants from entering the United States,” Lee said. “Our country was built by immigrants in search of religious freedom and a life free of persecution and violence. These actions are a direct betrayal of those American values.”

Several dozen protesters chanted outside the San Diego International Airport chanting “no hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here.” Motorists honked in support as they drove by.

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Associated Press photographer contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2017 The Washington Times, LLC.

Source: www.washingtontimes.com stories: Politics

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