REGION — President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27 that would ban Muslims and refugees to enter America. This prompted protests at airports across the country, including Lindbergh Field, for protesters to speak up for the people banned from entering this country.
The protest came in a spur of the moment amid Trump’s decision to ban Muslims and refugees into America. Jeane Wong organized the protest by making an event on Facebook, which escalated quickly as more people shared the event to their own Facebook page.
“I was watching the news, I kept refreshing (Facebook) to see if people were going to come…I know they are doing one tomorrow too but it seemed really important today,” said Wong. “We need to react, we are learning we need to react really fast.”
There were 500 to 600 peaceful protesters at the international terminal on the first day of protests, ranging from young to old. People were holding signs that included: “No one is illegal,” “We welcome Muslims + refugees,” “No ban, no wall,” and a young girl holding a sign that said, “My land is your land.”
A second day of protests continued on Sunday across the country, including at Lindbergh Field, which drew thousands of protesters.
Sen. Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) issued a statement on Jan. 25, prior to President Trump’s issuing of the executive order saying it wasn’t easy to accept despite knowing his attitudes express during the election.
“After listening to Donald Trump on the campaign trail, we shouldn’t be surprised that he is pursuing these irrational, mean-spirited and misguided executive orders,” Atkins’ statement read.
“In turn, immigrants contribute greatly to our culture and our economy,” Atkins continued. “And part of what makes San Diego such a vibrant city is its rich human diversity, and much of that is thanks to immigrants, many who come from the places Donald Trump is afraid of. His orders threaten great harm to the efforts of many people and organizations who for many years have been working to strengthen regional economic and cultural ties between the San Diego and Tijuana regions.”
On Monday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said in a statement that, “A welcoming America is not incompatible with a strong and secure America. We can put in place a vetting process that the American people have confidence in. To do so, the Congress must work with the administration to swiftly reestablish strong and clear screening procedures so that our rich tradition of immigration is not permanently threatened by those who wish us harm.”
“This protest means to me that America is the land of opportunity for a lot of people,” said Jim Lantry, one of the protestors and La Jolla resident. “We shouldn’t be closing our doors. They didn’t close the doors to let our parents in; our grandparent’s in. (Trump) can’t close the doors to let new people in either. Hate can’t be our watch word, this is not what America means to me.”
Lantry, who also protested the Vietnam War in the ‘60s, was surprised by the rally’s turnout.
“I think this is the first presidential protest that I’ve seen in my lifetime, other than protesting against the war in the ‘60s, that has been so robust and strong and so soon,” Lantry said.
Ellen Freitas said at the rally, that the government’s actions are not ethical.
“I think what Trump is doing is divisive, it is not right. I know a lot of refugees in Iraq, they are my friends, they are people who go to my church and I think that we should not ban an entire country or an entire religion. It is not American and it is not right,” Freitas said.
Throughout the protest Wong made sure to communicate with security and ensured protesters were respectful to travelers, which included leaving room for travelers to pass by.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Trump said that his ban was similar to what former President Obama did in 2011 when he “banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months.”
However, according to factcheck.org, “The Obama administration’s actions were limited to one country and in response to a specific threat — the potential for other Iraqi refugees to take advantage of a flaw in the screening process. By contrast, Trump ordered a far wider ban — albeit also temporary — without identifying a specific threat.”
Trump’s immigration order would affect people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. The executive order suspends citizens of the seven Muslim-majority countries to enter the U.S. for a period of 90 days. Also suspending the United States’ refugee system for a period of 120 days.
“To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting,” Trump continued in his statement. “This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.”