On Friday January 27, 2017 President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order 13769 into effect, which prohibited travel between the United States and seven predominantly-Muslim nations. This sparked a national and global outrage as thousands of people found themselves detained at airports across the United States and many Americans returning from the Middle East were unable to board their planes. Thousands of demonstrators began to march and picket at airports such as LAX, JFK International Airport, and LaGaurdia Airport.
Contrary to the Trump administration’s claim that the travel ban was for national security reasons that had nothing to do with the Islamic faith, many Americans and protesters across the world viewed this as a racist attack on middle-eastern Muslims.
The legality of the travel ban was also brought into question by a plethora of lawyers and judges who felt the ban was in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Indeed it was. Federal judges overturned the travel ban by Friday February 10, 2017. Several members of Trump’s cabinet were fired in the process because of their opposition to their president’s executive order.
While the overturn of the travel ban is a victory for many, this still raises questions and concerns as to how the Trump administration will respond to the Syrian refugee crisis moving forward. One of the initial clauses in Executive Order 13769 was that the United States Refugee Admissions Program would be suspended for 120 days. With a growing anti-refugee harboring rhetoric being shared among members of the Trump administration, it is clear that we may have not seen the last of these massive anti-discrimination airport protests.