Dulles: Throngs of noisy demonstrators — and scores of lawyers — poured into Dulles International Airport outside Washington on Sunday to show support for immigrants impacted by President Donald Trump’s contentious travel restrictions.
Similar protests were taking place outside the White House and across the United States as outrage grew over Trump’s executive order, signed on Friday, that imposed sweeping restrictions on some travelers to the country.
Saif Rahman, a 38-year-old Iraqi-born US citizen who lives in Virginia, had just flown into Dulles from Istanbul, via Frankfurt. He said two border agents were waiting as people got off the plane.
About 16 people, including him, were called in for additional screening but he was let through fairly quickly.
“I just hope that we can pass this difficult period while maintaining our values as a country,” Rahman said.
Trump’s executive order suspended the arrival of all refugees for at least 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely — and bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.
With each new international arrival at Dulles, whoops of support erupted from a crowd of up to some 400 people gathered at the exit point from US customs.
People handed out flowers and food, waved greeting signs and chanted slogans, including: “No hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here,” and “Let them in! Let them in!”
It was unclear if, or how many, travelers had been detained at Dulles.
Four congressmen said they had been refused access to the area where the travelers would be held, a move lawyers said was in contempt of a court order issued late Saturday.
“The executive order is terrible, it’s bad and we are going to fight it,” Democratic Representative John Delaney told AFP.