Protesters in Union Square Slam Trump Travel Ban's Partial Return
Hundreds of people gathered Thursday in Union Square to protest the partial return of President Trump's travel ban centered on people from six Muslim-majority countries.
"The use of national security as the rationale for implementing the Muslim ban is quite comical, to say the least," said Murad Awadeh of the New York Immigration Coalition.
The coalition and other advocacy groups organized the march from Union Square.
Members said the travel ban goes against American values, and is not the answer to make the country safer.
The demonstration was one of many protests expected in response to the ban, which returned in a new form at 8 p.m.
Visa applicants and refugees from Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Iran, and Yemen must prove a personal tie to someone already in the United States.
The State Department defines a close family member as a parent, child, spouse, sibling, adult son or daughter, or son or daughter-in-law.
Business and professional ties are also accepted.
But the State Department said they must be "formal, documented and formed in the ordinary course rather than for the purpose of evading" the president's executive order.
A grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin, or a fiancé from the six countries do not qualify for a visa.
Officials said visas already issued will not be revoked.
The ban takes effect just days after the Supreme Court partially restored Trump's amended executive order.
The high court will hear arguments in the case this fall.
"I believe that America is a country of liberty and of freedom, and that we should be accepting of all people," one woman said in Union Square.
"There is no RSVP on the Statue of Liberty," another demonstrator said.
The Union Square protest is expected to finish at 18 St. and 5 Ave., where organizers are scheduled to host a town hall on Muslims.
Political activist Linda Sarsour and Public Advocate Letitia James were among those who rallied in support.