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Updated: Chicagoans To Protest 'Muslim Ban' At O'Hare On Sunday As Lawyers Mobilize

By Stephen Gossett in News on Jan 29, 2017 7:40PM

Photo: Tyler LaRiviere

Update 7:00 p.m.:
Several hundred people, if not more than a thousand, gathered at O'Hare. Protesters moved outside as speakers, including Reps. Jan Schakowsky and Robin Kelly and Rev. Jesse Jackson, addressed another large crowd.

"We are all important... I’m so embarrassed we have to be out here for this reason," Kelly told the crowd shortly before 7 p.m.. "I’m so sorry this is happening, and I just want you to know that I stand with you."

"Today we are all refugees," Schakowsky said.

Hatem Abudayyeh, Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network, called on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who was in attendance, to "close loopholes" in Chicago's Welcoming City Ordinance. (An audible boo echoed across the crowd as Abudayyeh invoked Emanuel's name.)

A huge chant of "No wall, no registry, no white supremacy" tore through the crowd, which continued to fill up.

The number of people held for additional questioning on Sunday has reached as high 50, lawyers told the Tribune. A Jordanian man waited six hours after his brother's arrival only to be told his brother was being sent back, according to Sun-Times reporter Nader Issa. Travelers from Mexico were also impacted, according to the Trib. Neither Jordan nor Mexico are on the list of banned countries.

Update 5:45 p.m.:

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Commissioner Jesus "Chuy" Garcia arrived at O'Hare shortly before 6 p.m. to thank lawyers and their supporters.

At least one hundred demonstrators had arrived ahead of the 6 p.m. protest start time.

Some travelers were detained for over three hours on Sunday, including an American-passport holder from Lebanon, according to the Sun-Times. A Jordanian man whose flight had arrived at 12:30 p.m. had still not passed through more than five hours later, as of 6 p.m.

Protesters will demonstrate at O'Hare International Airport for the second consecutive night against Donald Trump's so-called Muslim Ban executive order. As of early Sunday afternoon, volunteer lawyers were already again filling Terminal Five, the site of Saturday's chaotic events, during which more than a dozen travelers were detained and at least one detainee was turned back.

Sunday's protest will take place at Departures in Terminal Five at 6 p.m. "We stand again in Chicago as people continue to stand all over the US #NoBanNoWall We say #NoMuslimBan #100DaysofResistance, " wrote the Arab American Action Network on the event page, which has several hundred respondents as of Sunday afternoon.

More than 100 lawyers set up shop at O'Hare on Saturday to help facilitate the passage of detainees; and after another call International Refugee Assistance Project, attorneys again are piling into the airport to continue their efforts on day two.

Protesters shut down traffic for a portion of Saturday night at Terminal Five as more than a thousand people showed up to demonstrate against the detention of travelers at O'Hare, all of whom either held green cards or visas.

Illinois lawmakers, inlcuding Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth, blasted Trump's executive order and called for its end.

Trump’s action, signed on Friday, suspends the United States’ refugee program for 120 days, indefinitely prohibits Syrian refugees and imposes a 90-day entry ban on people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The bans also target visa and green card holders, who will only be allowed entry on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Homeland Security, White House officials said on Saturday, after the wave of confusion had already set in.

A judge on Friday issued an emergency stay that allowed Saturday's arrivals and in-transit travelers to stay in the country, but the order was only partial and left the fates of travelers on Sunday in beyond in doubt.

A BBC reporter, Ali Hamedani, was reportedly detained at O'Hare for two hours on Sunday before his eventual release, causing him to miss a connecting flight.

Cardinal Blase Cupich on Sunday afternoon fiercely denounced Trump's immigration ban, saying, "This weekend proved to be a dark moment in U.S. history."

"The world is watching as we abandon our commitments to American values," Cupich said in part in a statement. "These actions give aid and comfort to those who would destroy our way of life. They lower our estimation in the eyes of the many peoples who want to know America as a defender of human rights and religious liberty, not a nation that targets religious populations and then shuts its doors on them."

"It is time to put aside fear and join together to recover who we are and what we represent to a world badly in need of hope and solidarity," Cupich added.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan added her voice on Sunday to the chorus of denouncement, as well, joining other Attorneys General in a condemnation.

This post has been updated.