New York taxi drivers strike in protest at Donald Trump's Muslim travel ban

 'We say no to this inhumane and unconstitutional ban'

Siobhan Fenton
Social Affairs Correspondent
Sunday 29 January 2017 10:50 GMT
Yellow taxis were found to be 9 per cent less likely to be involved in an accident than blue ones
Yellow taxis were found to be 9 per cent less likely to be involved in an accident than blue ones

New York taxi drivers are going on strike to protest Donald Trump’s ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries.

The New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a non-profit group which links cab drivers in the city, announced a one hour strike in solidarity with those who were being turned away under the controversial new ban.

The group announced their members and supporters would be ceasing work between 6pm and 7pm local time at the JFK airport, where many of those affected were being turned away.

In a social media post, the group said: “We cannot be silent. We got to work to welcome people to a land that once welcomed us. We will not be divided.”

The Alliance later posted a photo of the taxi ranks at JFK Airport standing vacant.

In a further statement, the Alliance said that the group decided upon the action as it has a “membership [which] is largely Muslim, a workforce that’s almost universally immigrant and a working-class movement that is rooted in the defense of the oppressed.”

They added: “We say no to this inhumane and unconstitutional ban.”

President Trump signed an executive order banning all refugees for four months, as well as suspending entry for travellers from seven countries which have a Muslim majority.

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside JFK Airport after it emerged dozens of individuals and families had been refused entry. Further actions, protests and demonstrations are anticipated in the coming days.

A federal judge granted a stay on deportations, meaning in effect the executive order has been partially blocked, while the judiciary considers whether it is constitutional. Judge Ann Donnelly, who made the decision at a federal district court in Brooklyn, said: “I think the government hasn’t had a full chance to think about this.”

President Trump had discussed during his election campaign that he wished to ban Muslim people from entering the US, citing security concerns. The move appears to be a core policy in his new administration which is increasingly overt in its nationalism.

During his inauguration speech, the politician told crowds “From now on, it will be America first! America first!” The announcement was criticised internationally, amid concerns the rhetoric evokes far-right nationalist sentiment and exclusionary government.

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