Thousands of demonstrators gathered at sites around Metro Detroit Sunday to protest an executive order signed by President Trump. The order bans citizens from seven countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Those countries include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The executive action also keeps all refugees from coming to the country for a period of 120 days.
The largest protest took place at Detroit Metro Airport late Sunday afternoon. Between chants of “No hate. No fear. Refugees are welcome here,” the crowd made its way into the baggage claim area. Officers from the Department of Homeland Security monitored the situation from the tops of the luggage carousels.
Former state lawmaker Rashida Tlaib was on the scene, making protest signs. “I think the resistance in what you hear and what you see here which is a beautiful array, a rainbow, of faiths and backgrounds, even some political opinions,” she said. “People here know and feel that this is completely wrong, that banning people from coming into this country solely based on their faith is un-American.”
U.S. Reps. Brenda Lawrence, D-Southfield, and Debbie Dingell, D-Dearborn, made remarks at the airport in opposition to Trump’s refugee ban.
Earlier in the afternoon, a crowd of several hundred marched at Hamtramck City Hall. Katie Kirkpatrick said she attended the Hamtramck protest to support the interests of her 15-year-old daughter.
“She believes that the world is created for all us to live in peacefully together. I hope that maybe she learned some of that from her parents,” said Kirkpatrick. “When she said she wanted to be here, I knew there was no reason to shut her down. I admire her passion about standing up for the rights of human beings and I said, ‘Heck, yeah! Let’s go.’”
Kirkpatrick said she believes protests, such as the ones that took place around the country on Sunday, make a difference.
Cathy Marshall also protested in Hamtramck. She said she did not expect such a ban to happen, let alone so quickly.
“Yes, I’m very surprised because when he was talking during the whole campaign season,” said Marshall. “I was thinking, ‘Yeah, he’ll never pull any of that off. There’s no way anybody will let any of that happen.’ But, you know, it’s happening, and I’m terrified.”
Protests also took place in Dearborn, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.