CHICAGO (CBS) — State and local leaders have joined those raising their voices against President Donald Trump’s controversial temporary travel ban, but the White House is standing firm.
The president’s order includes a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen. The order also bars any refugees from entering the country for 120 days.
Trump released a statement saying his immigration policy is similar to former President Barack Obama’s 2011 order when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. Trump said his order isn’t an outright Muslim ban, but a move to combat terrorism.
“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 review3ed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days,” Trump said in a statement Sunday.
However, his controversial executive order stirred the pot, not just with community members but also with politicians.
About 1,000 people protested at O’Hare International Airport on Saturday night, blocking the entrance to the International Terminal. They refused to leave until at least 18 people who had been detained due to Trump’s order were released. A federal judge in New York intervened on Saturday, issuing a temporary order prohibiting the federal government from deporting people subject to Trump’s executive order.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly, and Rev. Jesse Jackson were among the local leaders who joined protesters at O’Hare on Sunday; condemning the president’s stance, and offering assistance to travelers who have been detained or questioned extensively due to the travel ban.
“To ensure people when they come, what they’re met with is support, security, and safety; and that’s who we are. That is what we’re doing,” Emanuel said.
On Face the Nation on Sunday, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said the majority of people who were detained over the weekend were released after being asked a few more questions; what he called a simple vetting or screening process.
“Perhaps some of these people should be detained further, and if they’re folks that shouldn’t be in this country, they’re going to be detained, and so apologize for nothing here,” Priebus said.
Several attorneys have set up at the airport over the weekend to offer pro bono legal help to those who have been detained.