More demonstrators have gathered at Los Angeles International Airport Sunday to protest President Donald Trump's executive order that temporarily suspended entry of travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries, resulting in detentions and chaos at airports around the country, including at Los Angeles International Airport.
The New York federal judge's stay on the executive order issued Saturday night does apply to Los Angeles, said Judy London, directing attorney of Public Counsel's Immigrants' Rights Project.
The stay bars U.S. border agents from deporting anyone who arrived with a valid visa from the targeted countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The court order also covered those with approved refugee applications.
The number of people detained at LAX is unknown — HyunJoo Lee, a staff attorney with Public Counsel told KPCC Customs & Border Protection has not confirmed a number with lawyers. Jennie Pasquarella, director of immigrant rights for ACLU California, said the same thing.
The lower level (arrivals) of the LAX horseshoe roadway was temporarily closed in front of Terminal 3, Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminal 4 due to the protest. It reopened after 3 p.m. Sunday.
KPCC's Josie Huang is in Bradley International Terminal.
Attorneys are also among the protesters.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer, who was at LAX on Saturday night, said there has been a lack of clarity from federal officials about what is and is not being enforced in Trump's executive order. Two actions have been filed in federal court in Los Angeles in the last 24 hours, he said.
"This is one of the most breathtaking violations of basic rights that I have ever seen in my life in my career as a lawyer and as a public official," Feuer said. "It has got to stop and I stand strongly with those who are trying to secure the release of detention of anyone who has been lawfully permitted by the previous administration to enter this country. This is an outrageous breech of their rights."
Feuer told KPCC he'll spend Sunday working with lawyers across the nation to figure out the next best course of action.
Rep. Maxine Waters was also at LAX on Sunday, saying the confusion and chaos is stemming from Trump "because he did not work with all the appropriate agencies to even talk about how to carry out his ill-fated plan to ban these travelers," she said.
Waters expressed support for the protest as she stood among many demonstrators in the terminal.
"It’s a mess so we got to keep pushing back," she said. "The fact that the people are out there today is good because this helps to push back and fight against what [Trump]’s doing."
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti held a press conference at the LAX Administration building that was broadcast on Facebook Live.
A few hundred people gathered in protest at LAX on Saturday night. Immigration attorneys told KPCC on Saturday about 40 people were detained by border agents.
On protesting at LAX
Rob Pedregon, spokesman for LAX Police, said the protest was very peaceful and a "non-issue" for the airport officers. No arrests were made on Saturday. He says communication is key to balancing the rights of protesters and airport operations.
"They understand that we have a relationship that A: They want to be heard, and B: they want it to be peaceful," Pedregon said. "We fall in line with that too. We believe in their right to speak and demonstrate, but we have to protect commerce and it is a place of business."
LAX attracts large-scale protests because it's a both a symbolic and very public place to demonstrate, Pedregon said.
"LAX is the gateway to Los Angeles," Pedregon said. "It's a very high-profile infrastructure."
On travelers flying in and out of LAX Sunday
LAX is asking travelers who are scheduled to fly in or out of the airport on Sunday to use the upper (departures) level because the lower level was temporarily closed. Here's the airport's statement.
Due to a demonstration at LAX the Lower/Arrivals Level horseshoe roadway will be temporarily closed until further notice in front of Terminal 3, the Tom Bradley International Terminal, and Terminal 4. All passengers and motorists going to those terminals are advised to use the Upper/Departures Level. All flight operations are normal. Passengers are advised to check with their airlines for flight status.
The roadway has reopened.