Protestors march across US capital in solidarity with immigrants



WASHINGTON, Feb. 5:(AFP) – Hundreds of protesters marched from the White House to the US Capitol Saturday, chanting and waving signs in an expression of solidarity with immigrants targeted by Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban. At the Capitol building they held a peaceful rally across the street from the Supreme Court, decrying the president’s recent order barring refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Implementation of the traveler ban was blocked late Friday by a federal judge.
“Donald, Donald can’t you see, we don’t want you in DC,” the diverse crowd chanted. Many waved homemade placards with slogans such as “love knows no borders” and “will swap Trump for 1000 refugees.” The president’s controversial order prohibits entry to all refugees, regardless of nationality, for 120 days, and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely. It also suspended the issuance of visas for 90 days to migrants or visitors from seven mainly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
However US authorities have suspended Trump’s ban on travelers from the seven countries after Seattle US District Judge James Robart issued a nationwide order blocking its implementation. “I was born and raised here and for the first time in my life, I don’t feel safe,” said Abu Bakkar, 26, whose parents are originally from Pakistan. The Department of Defense consultant said the new president “has revealed hate that’s been underground for so long. He has divided one of the greatest countries in the world.”
Iraqi-American Maryam al-Hassani, 18, told AFP she has family members who were trying to reach the United States before their travel visas were revoked following Trump’s order.
An Iraqi flag knotted at her neck, the university student voiced cautious optimism about the court decision lifting the travel ban: “It’s important to look at the positives, but at the same time he’s still in office for four years.”
Victor Veizaga, 68, sported a red, white and blue cap as he rallied with his son and two grandchildren. “Here is my life and my soul,” said Veizaga, who immigrated to the United States from Bolivia in 1970 and has lived in the nation’s capital, a Democratic-leaning city where the president’s election has been largely unwelcome, for four decades.
Motioning to his grandchildren — a boy and a girl who carried neon green signs that read “Love Trumps Hate” and “FuturePrez” — he said the persistent protests have left him feeling hopeful.”I owe everything to this beautiful country,” he said. “We have dignity, we have hope, and we have a future.