SEATTLE — Gov. Jay Inslee and Mayor Ed Murray were among the speakers at a large rally in downtown Seattle on Sunday evening that drew more than a thousand people protesting President Donald Trump’s action barring people from certain Muslim nations from the United States.
The protest at Westlake Park in the city’s shopping district was the second large anti-Trump protest in the Seattle area in two days. Saturday night 3,000 people flooded Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.
On Sunday the protesters held signs that read “Proud to be an Immigrant” and “Refugees are not terrorists.”
Murray urged protesters in the city to stand in their doorways at 7 p.m. Wednesday evening, holding a phone or a candle to “shine a light.”
“We as a city will stand with immigrants and refugees,” said Murray, who has vowed to maintain Seattle’s status as a sanctuary city for immigrants despite a Trump threat to withhold federal funds.
Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Seattle’s congressional representative, told the crowd “we are going to fight this every step of the way.”
Earlier, a Port of Seattle spokeswoman said people who were detained at Seattle-Tacoma Airport as a result of Trump’s executive order have been released.
Kathy Roeder said the Department of Homeland Security told port officials those people can continue their travels. She didn’t know how many people had been released.
Jayapal said in a news release Sunday that two people were released. She said one is a citizen of Sudan and the other a citizen of Yemen, both countries named in Trump’s 90-day travel ban to the U.S. She said one is attending a convention in Las Vegas and the other is visiting relatives.
Attorneys from the ACLU and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project said Saturday a Somali national was not allowed to enter and two other people were detained at the airport.
About 3,000 protesters holding signs and chanting “no hatred, no fear, immigrants are welcome here” and “let them in” gathered Saturday evening and continued demonstrating into Sunday morning.
Roeder said the crowd dispersed shortly after midnight but about 30 to 35 were arrested during the demonstration and face various misdemeanor charges. She said there were no injuries and no damage to the facilities. She said she wasn’t aware of anymore protests planned at the airport Sunday, but that protests might happen in downtown Seattle.
U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly in Seattle issued an order Saturday halting any deportations related to Trump’s order after immigration advocates filed an emergency motion arguing that the president’s actions violated the due process rights of the immigrants.
Trump signed an executive order Friday that bans legal U.S. residents and visa-holders from seven Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. for 90 days and puts an indefinite hold on a program resettling Syrian refugees.
Inslee compared Trump’s order to the detention of Japanese Americans after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
Sen. Patty Murray, speaking at a Sunday evening news conference at Sea-Tac, said Trump’s order was “un-American” and protesters who turned out at airports across the United States “reacted correctly.”
Murray, a Democrat and Washington’s senior senator, said she has so far been unable to speak with the Trump Administration about the immigration order. She said the confusion following Trump’s action is “what happens when you issue an executive order without knowing what you are doing.”