Protests held in Dearborn, Metro Airport against immigration moratorium

Photo courtesy of Mason Christensen  State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-15th District) addresses protestors at Henry Ford Centennial Library during a demonstration Sunday against President Donald Trump signing an immigration moratorium executive order.

Photo courtesy of Mason Christensen
State Rep. Abdullah Hammoud (D-15th District) addresses protestors at Henry Ford Centennial Library during a demonstration Sunday against President Donald Trump signing an immigration moratorium executive order.

By ZEINAB NAJM
Times-Herald Newspapers

Hours after President Donald Trump signing an executive order temporarily denying immigrants from seven countries into the United States Sunday, two protests were held in Dearborn and at Wayne County Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

Protestors took to Henry Ford Centennial Library, 16301 Michigan Ave., first about 1 p.m. alongside community leaders.

On Jan. 27, Trump signed an executive order to suspend the admission of all refugees for three months and suspend the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Citizens from countries of Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen are not allowed to enter the United States with their visas for the next three months.

The order disturbed the lives of many Dearborn and Michigan residents who have family members in the countries listed by Trump.

Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Elahi addressed the more than 200 protestors in Dearborn.

Photo by Zeinab Najm U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (right, D-Dearborn) talks with protestors at Wayne County Detroit Metropolitan Airport during a demonstration Sunday against President Donald Trump signing an immigration moratorium executive order.

Photo by Zeinab Najm
U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (right, D-Dearborn) talks with protestors at Wayne County Detroit Metropolitan Airport during a demonstration Sunday against President Donald Trump signing an immigration moratorium executive order.

“We should not keep the residents and refugees from specific countries out of America, especially when they have not proven to be dangerous,” he said. “Our country was not built on hate, it was built on immigrants and freedom. What the president did is against what the Constitution represents.”

Members from the crowd chanted phrases that included, “No hate, no fear. Immigrants are welcome here,” and “No ban, no wall.”

Michigan Muslim Community Council Board member Suehalia Amen said the executive order has caused more harm than good.

“Everyone comes to America to accomplish the same goal, the American Dream,” she said. “They want to create a better lives for themselves and also their families. Diversity is a strength in America and we need to embrace it, not fear it.”

Following the Dearborn protest, many people went to Metro Airport where another protest was held at the international arrivals of the McNamara Terminal.

Photo by Mohammad Emari Michigan Muslim Community Council Board member Suehalia Amen (second from left), alongside Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Elahi, addresses protestors at Henry Ford Centennial Library during a demonstration Sunday against President Donald Trump signing an immigration moratorium executive order.

Photo by Mohammad Emari
Michigan Muslim Community Council Board member Suehalia Amen (second from left), alongside Islamic House of Wisdom Imam Mohammad Elahi, addresses protestors at Henry Ford Centennial Library during a demonstration Sunday against President Donald Trump signing an immigration moratorium executive order.

The protest was filled with almost 2,000 people from all races, religions, cultures outside and inside the airport with signs and chants.

For more than two hours some of the chants included, “Tell me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like,” “Refugees are welcome here,” “Donald Trump has got to go” and “No ban, no wall.”

Toward the end of the protest, U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and Michigan Muslim Community Council Board member Fatima Salman arrived to speak to the crowd gathered inside.

“We have been working non-stop with other members of Congress and state representatives to ensure the executive order is stopped,” Dingell said. “You all organized and came together in less than 24 hours to fight for equality.”

Salman quoted the inscription that is written on Lady Liberty to the airport crowd.

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

At the end of the evening, protesters gave Muslims their signs and the created a ring around them allowing for men and women to pray outside as the protest ended.

Organizers of the airport protest coordinated with airport officials to ensure the crowd would be able to voice their opinions.

“The Airport Authority Public Safety team coordinated with the organizers to ensure demonstrators’ voices could be heard, airport operations could continue without interruption and that ultimately everyone remained safe,” airport spokeswoman Erica Donerson said in a statement. “There were no arrests.”

(Zeinab Najm can be reached at zeinabnajm92@gmail.com.)