Orlando joined several major cities in protesting the latest executive order signed by President Trump of banning immigration from seven majority Muslim nations on Sunday afternoon.
An estimated crowd of one thousand people came together in the airport parking garage were chants and cheers reverberated throughout the building.
“No ban, no wall, sanctuary for all. No hate, no fear—refugees are welcomed here,” they shouted.
The effort began through a Facebook group called Support Central Florida Muslim Community started just 24 hours before the event took place.
It didn’t take long before the event to gain a following.
Many gave up their Sunday to voice their support for the local Muslim community including, Hannah Jalanbo, 22, a UCF master’s student majoring in social work.
“I’m appalled by our president’s ban on immigrants and refugees trying to enter our country and I thought that I could show some support by coming out, getting involved seeing what it is I can do…” said Jalanbo.
“My parents immigrated here about 30 years ago… we are all productive members of our society and it such a shame that our president is trying to ban people from coming, “said Jalanbo.
Trump’s executive order prohibits travel for at least 90 days to the U.S. by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.
Maggie Williford, 20, a criminal justice major at UCF came out to show support for immigrants stating that America is a nation built on immigration.
“If we lose sight of where we came from then we lose sight everything,” said Williford. “I think it’s important to remember where we came from and have that influence where we go in the future.”
During the protest, three people traveling from Dubai– a Syrian couple and their son and an Iranian returning to his home in Oviedo–were held around seven hours Sunday for further vetting.
Dylan Kelly, 26, former UCF English major and community organizer came to show his support for those detained at OIA.
“We are here to show solidarity with those folks and to let them know that they are welcome and we will not stand for a ban on anybody regardless of their race or religion,” said Kelly.
Those three individuals were eventually released on Sunday.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, one UCF Ph.D. student from Iran has been barred from re-entering the U.S. In addition, 223 other students at UCF and 25 Valencia College students could be prevented from reentering the U.S. Should they leave.
UCF President John Hitt sent out a message on Monday informing students of a new “Focus on Immigration” website. The site is intended to update students as the university learns more about the potential impacts of the executive action.
“Until then, we urge members of our community affected by the executive order to avoid any travel outside of the U.S.,” the letter stated. “During times of uncertainty, it is important to know that you are not alone or isolated in your concern. Know that we stand with you.”
“What he’s doing is not good for America and I hope that people come together and let America be what it has always been; a safe place for refugees and people fleeing from war looking for a better life for themselves and their children,” said Jalanbo.