By David Cruz
Even as the president’s revised travel ban proposal hit — you’ll pardon the expression — a wall in federal court, demonstrators here at the arrivals terminal at Newark Airport say they’re not planning to ease up on the pressure.
“It’s a core principle of our nation not to discriminate,” said ACLU New Jersey Interim Executive Director Diane Du Brule. “The ACLU will do everything in its power to stop these kinds of assaults on our core values. The ACLU, along with our members and our allies who we’re so proud to stand with here today, will go to airports and will go to courts of law as often as necessary to defend the principles of freedom and equality.”
The president, whose revised travel ban was also halted by another federal judge, in Maryland, was steadfast, telling a rally in Nashville yesterday, that he, too, is ready to fight.
“You don’t think this was done by a judge for political reasons, do you?” he asked in a mocking tone. “This ruling makes us look week, which, by the way, we no longer are. We’re going to fight this terrible ruling. We’re going to take our case as far as it needs to go, including all the way up to the Supreme Court. We’re going to win. We’re going to keep our citizens safe.”
Hillside Resident Mostafa Monsy said he’s seen anti-immigrant sentiment before, but never with this level of hostility. “We’re going to [say] this is white, this is black; this is yellow; this is blue. This is not good. This is going to divide us, not unite us,” he said. “That’s not going to lift everybody, no. I appreciate that he said a lot of good things when he was running. We’re going to do construction, fix the health care. Do this stuff. Don’t waste your time on nonsense stuff.”
“We want security; we want safety, of course,” added Mustafa El-Amin, from Masjid Ibrahim in Newark. “If he were to put his emphasis on the vetting process. You know if he wants to put stronger emphasis on the vetting process instead of banning people. He should also make an effort to meet with the Muslim community. I’d be willing to meet with him. Meet with the leadership so he can get a better understanding of the Muslim community and what this religion is all about.”
There was some emphasis today on reaching out to non-immigrant communities for support. Demonstrators acknowledge the need to make this issue one for all Americans, from across ethnic and racial lines.
“We cannot survive on a climate of hate or fear. That we have to combat fear and we have to combat hate any way we can,” said Rosella Clyde of Chatham Moms for Change.
“This order of Donald Trump not only discriminates against their religion but it discriminates against any religion,” said Sen. Ray Lesniak. “It discriminates against all religions.”
It’s unclear whether the president will issue a travel ban 3.0 or, if as he’s threatened, he’ll go back to the original so-called “Muslim ban” plan. Whatever his plan, demonstrators say they’re ready to fight it.