CHICAGO (CBS) — Demonstrators rallied at O’Hare International Airport On Wednesday to protest President Donald Trump’s latest travel ban, despite two federal judges blocking the latest version of the president’s order.
Judges in Hawaii and Maryland have issued temporary restraining orders which prevent the president’s third version of the travel ban from going into effect.
The morning the ban was supposed to go into effect, more than 50 protesters gathered outside the International Terminal at O’Hare to say the ban is still a threat, and still unfair, even though it’s held up in court.
“This always was and still is a Muslim ban. The addition of the countries of Venezuela and North Korea are nothing more than a thin, badly-placed veil to cover up the true motives of this ban,” said Muhammad Sankari, with Arab American Family Services.
The original version of the president’s travel ban temporarily blocked new visas for people traveling from six predominantly Muslim nations – Sudan, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, and Yemen. His second version removed Iraq from the list. The latest attempt added Chad, Venezuela, and North Korea to the list, and dropped Sudan.
Fred Tsao, senior policy council for the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said such bans are wrong on so many levels.
“They’re unwise. They deny our country the talent, the work, the energy, the care, and yes the spending power that immigrants and travelers bring to our country,” he said.
Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, said there are three things opponents of the travel ban need to do.
“The first is litigation; we need to fight back in the court system. The second is public protests and rallies to let the president, and the world, and America know where we stand as a people. And the third is through the services that we provide to protect the rights of families and communities,” he said.
Protesters said Wednesday’s demonstration was necessary, because the president keeps revising his travel ban when the courts rule against him.
“There were court orders before, and look where we’re at now. I mean, the executive branch is playing this game where they’re kicking the ball down the court, and they’re doing it again and again,” Rehab said.
Kalman Resnick, of the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, said his group stands in solidarity with the Muslim community in opposing President Trump’s newest travel ban.
“If the courts allow the proclamation to go into effect, these families face permanent separation from their loved ones,” he said.
Protesters said they believe the courts will continue to reject the president’s efforts to restrict travel to the U.S. by people from specific nations.