Immigration travel ban sparks protests at airports nationwide

by Steve Angeles, ABS-CBN News


LOS ANGELES — A wild weekend of anger, action, and even some tearful reunions.

Thousands filled the airports throughout the country, with protests in Los Angeles, to San Francisco, New York and Chicago.

Filipinos joined the action, standing in solidarity for travelers detained because of President Donald Trump’s immigration/travel ban of seven majority-Muslim countries.

“I think it’s a little ridiculous that I have to explain to people why the Muslim ban and registry is unjust and wrong,” said LAX airport protestor Katherine Pantangco. “I think more Filipino-Americans need to be standing in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters, and not fall into our colonial mentality and accepting our assimilation in America.”

“It’s a human thing to do,” agreed April Goddard. “Humanity. Equality. Everybody should have the right to be able to go where they want to go.

“I can’t believe what I hear everyday. There are truths and there are lies…and I don’t think Donald Trump can tell the difference between what’s true and what isn’t. It’s unprecedented,” said Bryan Nobida from San Francisco.

It wasn’t only travelers coming from Muslim countries that were inconvenienced.

Caught behind longer processing times at the immigration customs counters were incoming passengers from the Philippines, who had to wait longer than usual to exit.

We were held in one big room. There were like 300-50 passengers from different airlines,” said passenger Danny Diluvio. “I think they’re just making verifications of papers.

Despite the chaos, some Filipinos say they are will to give the President’s controversial order a chance.

“Dapat lang,” said Johnny Lomboy. “Kauupo pa lang nya kaya dapat bigyan sya ng chance.”

One of the most attended protests may have been Los Angeles International Airport, where as many as a hundred travelers were detained.

Thousands eventually blocked off airport traffic, adding to the frustration of protestors, who claim they are not getting updates or statuses from airport officials on the detainees.

On Sunday, they decided to to march to the airport and to look for answers.

The walk to the customs office was worth it for Filipinos like Ron Cuenco, who saw some travelers finally released.

One elderly man was said to have been held by customs for over 24 hours.

“America is built by the people and this is our voice,” Cuenco said.

The protests also drew elected officials.

“This is surreal. I’m disgusted by the President of the United States and outraged,” said Gavin Newsom, Lieutenant Governor of California. “I’m a vessel of all emotions as an elected official. People are pissed off.”

Though largely outnumbered, a few Trump supporters also shared their voice.


2 Comments on this post.

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  • Mario
    31 January 2017 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    It’s Trump fault..Exec Order signed as EXTREME VETTING, but media won, they twisted it as MUSLIM BAN, and TRAVEL BAN. Trump acting AG does not want to defend Trump immigration policy. Trump said” You’re fired”. Trump AG Jeff Session confirmation is on hold by Democrat including most of his cabinet nominees, that Trump could not move on forward. Trump mistake was, after his inauguration he should have terminated all Obama’s appointees, as what Obama did on his first day of office. Trump being a businessman and a deal maker, does not understand liberalism, all Obama’s appointees are liberals, they have their own ideology.Liberalism is the destruction of Republican party,Conservatism and Capitalism. Trump thought a liberal always come out for a deal and ask for a compromise… This is a lesson for him..I wish Trump will understand HClinton is a leftist liberal,Clinton owns the media, she is the media, a Presidential pardon will backfire and liberal will always stab him at the back. “Lock her up”

  • h
    1 February 2017 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    I notice something that only California always makes a big deal about president Trump, why is it because the state has one of the biggest illegal people in America. And I notice that a lot of Filipinos always want to open there big mouth. Look Filipinos, why you have to open your mouth all the time. Look if you don’t like our president go back to the Philippines and live there. Yes get out or we Americans will kick your big ass out of America you don’t belong here if you don’t like our president Donald Trump.