New Yorkers Commemorate Travel Ban Anniversary With Emotional Display Of Solidarity

One year ago, Donald Trump signed the Muslim Ban into order.

One year ago this weekend, families, activists, and lawyers flocked to airports around the country as President Donald Trump signed an executive order that blocked the entry of individuals from seven predominately Muslim nations to the United States. As the White House's third incarnation of a travel ban heads to the Supreme Court in April, demonstrations around the country gathered to mark the one-year anniversary of Trump's travel ban. In New York, more than 100 protesters of different religions and ethnicities gathered in a poignant display of empathy and solidarity. 

Hosted by the New York Immigration Coalition and other refugee-focused groups, the event brought the Muslim community and its allies to Washington Square Park Friday evening. The goal of Jummah Prayer: NoBanJFK, 1 Year Later was "to honor the millions who are still suffering from the Muslim Ban, and those of who every day dedicate time and labor to fighting this discriminatory policy," according to the Facebook event description. 

At one point, after the call to prayer was sung out, individuals reportedly held hands to form a circle of protection as Muslims knelt to pray in public. 

"It's practically important and symbolically important to stand with people of different faith traditions," Rev. Dr. Chloe Breyer, executive director of the Interfaith Center of New York, told HuffPost. "It's what we should do as Americans."

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Almost immediately after the signing of the executive order was announced last, demonstrators took to the streets. Officials, activists, and politicians from both parties found themselves on the same side of the aisle as #NoBanNoWall began trending on social media. In a move that would result in her termination from the Justice Department, then-acting attorney general Sally Yates said her office would decline to defend the order.  Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain released a joint statement against the ban, and the State Department reportedly started drafting a memo in dissent.

"On the anniversary of #NoBanJFK, we stand in solidarity with our allies at @thenyic, @ArabAmericanNY, @RefugeeAssist, @NYCCHR and fellow New Yorkers to pledge support to our diverse immigrant communities affected by the #TravelBan," the New York City Office Of Immigrant Affairs tweeted Friday. "We will always have your back."

A Plus has reached out to the New York Immigration Coalition.

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