Huge protests hit US airports in support of migrants and refugees, NY taxi drivers take action in solidarity

Huge crowds gathering at JFK airport in New York on January 28.
Huge crowds gathered at JFK airport in New York on January 28 as authorities seek to block entry to refugees and migrants from seven nations.

Protesters have gathered at airports in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas and other cities as immigration authorities begin to block entry to all refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority nations, Democracy Now! has reported on January 28.

Thousands of protesters gathered Saturday at JFK International Airport. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance joined the protest by calling on its members not to pick up passengers between 6pm and 7 pm on January 29 (see fulls tatement below).  

NO PICKUPS @ JFK Airport 6 PM to 7 PM today. Drivers stand in solidarity with thousands protesting inhumane & unconstitutional #MuslimBan.

— NY Taxi Workers (@NYTWA) January 28, 2017

The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups filed an emergency lawsuit on January 28 on behalf of plaintiffs who have been detained and threatened with deportation even though they have valid visas to enter the United States.

In a first win against the Trump administration, TeleSUR English said a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York issued an emergency stay on January 28 that temporarily blocks the U.S. government from sending people out of the country after they have landed at a U.S. airport with valid visas.

“President Trump’s war on equality is already taking a terrible human toll," said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project. "This ban cannot be allowed to continue.”

"Families are being ripped apart without warning and with no assurance of when they will be reunited," said the National Iranian American Council in a statement. "Students traveling abroad at the time of the ban are horrified that they might not be able to return to continue their studies. Children are being detained along with their parents when they were just seeking to return home. This is a dark day in the history of this country."

The crowd outside JFK Terminal 4 has grown ENORMOUS pic.twitter.com/RAUMX9EBhg

— Noah Hurowitz (@NoahHurowitz) January 28, 2017

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance statement in support of the protests said:

Professional drivers are over 20 times more likely to be murdered on the job than other workers. By sanctioning bigotry with his unconstitutional and inhumane executive order banning Muslim refugees from seven countries, the president is putting professional drivers in more danger than they have been in any time since 9/11 when hate crimes against immigrants skyrocketed.

Our 19,000-member-strong union stands firmly opposed to Donald Trump’s Muslim ban. As an organization whose membership is largely Muslim, a workforce that’s almost universally immigrant, and a working-class movement that is rooted in the defense of the oppressed, we say no to this inhumane and unconstitutional ban.

We know all too well that when government programs sanction outright Islamophobia, and the rhetoric of hate is spewed from the bully pulpit, hate crimes increase and drivers suffer gravely. Our Sikh and other non-Muslim brown and black members also suffer from anti-Muslim violence.

Today, drivers are joining the protest at JFK Airport in support of all those who are currently being detained at the airport because of Trump’s unconstitutional executive order. Drivers stand in solidarity with refugees coming to America in search of peace and safety and with those who are simply trying to return to their homes here in America after traveling abroad. We stand in solidarity with all of our peace-loving neighbors against this inhumane, cruel, and unconstitutional act of pure bigotry.

If you like our work, become a supporter

Green Left is a vital social-change project and aims to make all content available online, without paywalls. With no corporate sponsors or advertising, we rely on support and donations from readers like you.

For just $5 per month get the Green Left digital edition in your inbox each week. For $10 per month get the above and the print edition delivered to your door. You can also add a donation to your support by choosing the solidarity option of $20 per month.

Freecall now on 1800 634 206 or follow the support link below to make a secure supporter payment or donation online.