Protests Over Immigration Executive Order Expand Across The Country

Jan 30, 2017
Originally published on January 30, 2017 9:49 am
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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And here in the United States, our colleague Kirk Siegler is following a weekend of protest against the executive order.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) No hate. No fear. Refugees are welcomed here. No hate. No fear.

KIRK SIEGLER: For a second straight weekend, throngs of protesters march through downtown Washington to the White House, holding signs like, we are better than this and all are welcome.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER: Houston, make some noise.

(CHEERING)

SIEGLER: Houston is known for its large immigrant and refugee population. Rabbi Josh Lobel (ph) came out with his family to a protest downtown to show support for refugees fleeing war zones and to protest the temporary travel ban.

JOSH LOBEL: You know, people who are just looking to escape, that, to me, is a terrifying sign.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting, unintelligible).

SIEGLER: At LAX in Los Angeles, thousands of protesters blocked traffic and chanted and marched in and outside the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Let them in. Let them in. Let them in.

SIEGLER: Among those chanting let them in was Nada Jezree (ph). She's Syrian-American. And she says she has family currently trapped in war-torn Syria. And she worries it could be impossible for them to reunite now.

NADA JEZREE: I'm very concerned. And I really don't want them to get hurt. So, like, I really want them to be safe. So I'm protesting.

SIEGLER: Volunteer attorneys also floated throughout this crowd trying to help distraught family members who hadn't heard from loved ones on inbound flights. Judy London, a local immigrant law attorney, said the scene is one of confusion, and federal authorities are giving them no information.

JUDY LONDON: The American people and the world has a right to know how many people are in the basement of this airport.

SIEGLER: Inside the arrivals hall, jet-lagged passengers getting off international flights from the Middle East were greeted by a barrage of people waving signs and cheering.

UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTERS: (Chanting) Immigrants are welcome here.

SIEGLER: Arriving passengers held up their phones and videoed the dramatic scene as they tried to push their way toward the exit. The crowd erupted in cheers when they saw women in headscarves walking through. Kirk Siegler, NPR News, Los Angeles.

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