About 100 people gathered Saturday evening at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport to protest President Donald Trump’s crackdown on refugee admissions to the United States.
The protesters gathered near the Terminal 1 international arrival gate, carrying signs opposing the executive order, which bars migrants from seven primarily Muslim countries.
They shouted slogans such as “No hate! No fear! Immigrants are welcome here!” The only international flight to arrive during the hourlong demonstration was from Cancun, Mexico. Arriving travelers appeared confused by the activity, but some raised their thumbs in support.
There were no known detainments of anyone coming into the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport Saturday.
The rally was one of several airport protests nationwide, including a daylong demonstration outside New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, where two Iraqi men were detained Saturday morning. Both have since been released.
A Delta Air Lines spokeswoman said the company would make every effort to “contact impacted customers with flexible rebooking options, including refunds.”
On Saturday, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar praised the immigrant community in Minnesota, which boasts the largest Somali, Liberian and Oromo populations in the country. “They have often fled desperate and dangerous situations and, as legal workers, have been an important part of our economy and society,” Klobuchar said in a statement. “We cannot turn our back on them.”
U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., plans to hold a news conference Sunday morning in St. Paul to address the refugee ban, which he says will directly affect Minnesota residents.
U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., also sharply condemned Trump’s actions, arguing that the ban will “threaten the lives of thousands of refugees seeking asylum” and “undermine our international credibility and diplomatic strength.”
State Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, said Saturday that she will hold a planning session with members of the Somali-American community and others at 3 p.m. Sunday at her office at 504 Cedar Av.
Staff writer Joe Carlson contributed to this report.