Protest at DIA against immigration ban ends

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DENVER -- Officials with the Denver Police Department said the protests at Denver International Airport on Saturday night for the reversal of an executive order that temporarily bans residents of seven predominantly Muslim countries from boarding planes bound for the United States has ended.

A federal judge granted an emergency stay for citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries who have already arrived in the U.S. and those who are in transit, and who hold valid visas, ruling they can legally enter.

The rule was handed down by Judge Ann Donnelly of the U.S. District Court in Brooklyn in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union. Donnelly said the risk of injury to detainees was a factor in the decision.

Police called the protest at the airport "peaceful" and said it ended about 8:20 p.m. The protest began at 5 p.m. inside the terminal.

The immigration ban has sparked a federal lawsuit after at least a dozen people from those countries were detained at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. Some were on flights that arrived Friday night.

There have been protests all day at the airport.

Denver International Airport officials said they were aware of a possible protest taking place. The airport said in a statement that rules and regulations require a permit for any type of public demonstration.

It also said it respects the public's right to engage in political discourse. Police told protesters they had to leave the terminal because they did not have a permit for the gathering.

"President Donald Trump's executive order on refugees slammed the door to safety, security and hope for millions around the world," Colorado Rep. Diana DeGette said in a statement.

"Reverberations are being felt, with travelers and migrants en route to the United States being detained at airports around the world -- even people who hold valid current green cards that normally would let them come and go at will.

"America has always been a beacon to oppressed people, and while this extreme policy is a major setback, it doesn't change America's inclusive spirit."