How the Triangle Responded to the Trump Immigration Ban

On Friday, Trump signed an executive order banning all immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days and barring all refugees for the next 120 days. Those who had already entered the U.S. when the order was passed are allowed to remain in the country, but immigrants and refugees in foreign countries have not been permitted to board their planes. Additionally, the executive branch has issued contradicting comments about whether or not the order will allow green card holders and dual citizens to enter the United States if they leave the country. The order has been called a “Muslim Ban” because the seven countries barred immigration have predominantly Muslim citizenship.

Durham was the first in the Triangle to protest the order. Durham’s Church World Service organized a rally downtown on Saturday where hundreds of protesters gathered with signs. Multiple city council members were present and Durham Council Member Jillian Johnson read a resolution passed after Donald Trump’s election last year “condemning hate speech, racism and Islamophobia.”

On Sunday afternoon, the Triangle joined nationwide airport protests at RDU. Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority issued a permit that allowed 150 protestors to gather outside Terminal 2. However, the turnout was much larger than expected with over 1,500 people crowding the designated area. RDU was forced to shut down the upper area of Terminal 2 and the airport authority broke up the protest around 3 PM, just two hours after the protest began.

Also on Sunday, Duke University President Brodhead and Vice President Sally Kornbluth published a statement and emailed students to reaffirm, “Duke University cannot and will not share confidential student records with law enforcement agencies—local, state, or federal—without a subpoena.” The statement called Trump’s ban “confusing and disturbing” and assured that students from the affected countries had been contacted “to offer support and guidance.”

A rally took place in the Peace and Justice Plaza at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill at noon on Sunday, where 175 were present. The Coalition for Human Rights at UNC has scheduled another protest entitled “NC SPEAKS UP/OUT” to take place on Monday, January 30th at 10 AM in front of Wilson Library. Those in attendance will take a group photo and record individual reactions to the executive order for wider distribution to social and mass media outlets.

In addition, Duke's Ad Hoc Resistance and Support Group has planned a rally. "No Ban No Wall" will take place will take place on the Duke Chapel steps at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, January 31st.

If you know of other action not mentioned in this article, please leave a comment at

by Michaela Stith

Michaela Stith