Family members of some of the victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks gathered Thursday in Manhattan to protest President Trump’s executive order temporarily banning people from seven countries.
Dozens of relatives, who united at "The Sphere" in Battery Park, say the executive order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States” makes reference to the attacks to justify a ban on refugees and other people arriving from the Muslim-majority countries.
“We will not tolerate President Trump’s use of 9/11 to defend his deplorable anti-American political agenda,” the families said in a statement. They said that it was an “outrage” that refugees who have been vetted and approved “now face grave danger and an uncertain future.”
One of the protesters was Talat Hamdani, mother of Mohammad Salman Hamdani, a Pakistani-American NYPD cadet who died racing to help at the World Trade Center after the attacks.
Mohammad Hamdani’s remains were found by the north tower, his mother said, and he was memorialized as a hero by the city.
“I’m here fighting for my rights as an American citizen. This is a fight for the American soul, for the soul of America, and I’m here to defend the Constitution,” Talat Hamdani said. "How can they say they're going to protect me by taking away my rights? We have to speak up, we are speaking up and we will continue to speak up."
Brendan Fay was there to honor his friend Mychal Judge, a Franciscan friar who served as a chaplain to the FDNY and the first recorded fatality of the 9/11 attacks.
"Mychal Judge was a very proud New Yorker, he loved this city and would always talk about how this was a city built by immigrants," Fay said. "He was a great advocate for immigrants, and he would have been here today."
Trump signed the executive order on Jan. 27, sparking protests nationwide, but a federal judge imposed a temporary restraining order on it.
The Trump administration appealed against the order but it was upheld by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week. Trump said at a press conference Thursday that his administration would have a revised order next week.