Demonstrators both for and against President Trump's travel ban assembled at LAX Saturday, even though enforcement of the policy has been suspended by the Department of Homeland Security in the wake of a federal judge's ruling.
Trump's executive order, which indefinitely banned all refugees from Syria entering the United States, blocked all refugee admissions for 120 days, and also stopped all refugee and non-refugee entries from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Yemen and Syria for 90 days.
Judge James Hobart, a federal judge based in Washington state, halted enforcement of the order in a ruling issued Friday night. The DHS said today it has suspended all efforts to enforce the order and has resumed previously established screening procedures.
"In accordance with the judge's ruling, DHS has suspended any and all actions implementing the affected sections of the Executive Order..." said Gillian M. Christensen, acting press secretary for the DHS. "This includes actions to suspend passenger system rules that flag travelers for operational action subject to the Executive Order.
"DHS personnel will resume inspection of travelers in accordance with standard policy and procedure. At the earliest possible time, the Department of Justice intends to file an emergency stay of this order and defend the President's Executive Order, which is lawful and appropriate. The Order is intended to protect the homeland and the American people, and the President has no higher duty and responsibility than to do so."
A number of civil liberties and immigrant rights groups are expected to protest the ban in demonstrations that were organized before Hobart's ruling.
Protesters planned to rally against the policy from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Tom Bradley International Terminal.
Meanwhile, pro-ban demonstrators from the San Fernando Valley Celebration Group planned to show their support for the policy from noon to 1 p.m., also at Bradley International Terminal.
Early Saturday afternoon, LAX released a statement noting a demonstration was in progress with marchers on the sidewalk of the lower arrivals level, the statement read. Flight operations were functioning normally.
LAX noted traffic was "flowing normally" in and around the central terminal area for that time of day as of 2:30 p.m., but advised passengers to plan ahead and monitor the @flyLAXairport and @LAAirportPD Twitter accounts or the LAX website for updates.
At 10:45 p.m., LAX said that traffic and flight operations ran normally throughout the day and evening.
"Airport officials thank the traveling public for their patience and understanding today, as well as the protestors for a peaceful demonstration," the statement said.
Trump has said the restrictions are meant to more thoroughly vet immigrants from countries that have a large organized terror presence.
Opponents have criticized the order as confusing, punitive and un-American.
LAX spokesman Charles Pannunzio said airport officials would be monitoring the size of the crowds today to ensure smooth operations for travelers.