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Doug Brown

Update, 4:43 pm Some protesters began blocking the lower roadway at PDX, the access point for travelers to get into the airport via automobile. PDX officials voluntarily closed off the airport's upper roadway earlier in the day, to allow demonstrators to assemble.


A roadway blockage could spur a conflict with authorities seeking to keep business going at the airport.


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Doug Brown
Update, 5:10 pm: Riot police are on scene at the airport, though a brief standoff with demonstrators—which included officers knocking people over and firing rubber bullets so-called "less lethal" projectiles—appears to have dissipated for now. The police were responding to an assault involving a group of conservative Christians who'd been insulting the crowd via a bullhorn.





6:05 pm: The bulk of protesters have left the airport and taken to the roads leading up to PDX, slowing traffic.



Original post:

For the second day in a row, hundreds of demonstrators have flooded into Portland International Airport to protest an executive order from Donald Trump that has resulted in refugees headed to the US being detained, snarled the east at which some citizens with green cards can get into the US, and in general thrown US immigration into confusion.

As chants of "This is what democracy looks like" reverberated through PDX this afternoon, Mayor Ted Wheeler was speaking with demonstrators on site. US Sen Jeff Merkley, a Democrat and constant critic of Trump since he formally took office January 20, is also on hand. So is US Rep Suzanne Bonamici, also a Democrat.

"People are worried. They're concerned," Bonamici told KOIN. "It's not American, it's dangerous, and it's inhumane."

"Right now Lady Liberty is crying," Merkley told the station. "Virtually all of us are immigrants. It's what made us strong."

The Merc's Doug Brown says there were as many as 1,000 people protesting at the airport as of 2:40 pm. More appeared to be arriving all the time.






Trump's executive order, signed Friday, curbed the entry of any refugee into the United States, and placed a blanket ban on entry into the country for citizens of seven majority Muslim countries. Some of Trump's order was curtailed in federal court opinions on Friday, but the New York Times reports it's not clear how closely officials are hewing to the rulings. The rulings also stopped short of completely dismantling Trump's order. On Sunday, the Trump administration walked back an earlier part of the executive order, saying citizens who hold green cards will be allowed back into the country.

This afternoon a Port of Portland spokesperson, Steve Johnson, told the Mercury that "no immigrants or refugees have been detained at PDX under the executive order."

Johnson notes that there is a permit procedure for demonstrations at PDX, but says the airport voluntarily agreed to close its upper roadway, where people departing Portland are typically dropped off. It's encouraging travelers to use the lower roadway while the demonstration plays out.

"The Port of Portland has provided the area to allow space for free speech activities," Johnson says. "Airport operations continue at this time."

Merkley, Wheeler, and Bonamici aren't the only Oregon officials speaking out today. Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's office issued a release earlier, in concert with the attorneys general in 14 other states and Washington, DC.

"As the chief legal officers for over 130 million Americans and foreign residents of our states, we condemn President Trump's unconstitutional, un-American and unlawful Executive Order and will work together to ensure the federal government obeys the Constitution, respects our history as a nation of immigrants, and does not unlawfully target anyone because of their national origin or faith," it reads. "We are confident that the Executive Order will ultimately be struck down by the courts. In the meantime, we are committed to working to ensure that as few people as possible suffer from the chaotic situation that it has created.”

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Gov. Kate Brown also issued her first statement about Trump's immigration order, saying she was monitoring the situation.

"My staff is studying the recent Executive Orders to determine what effects they may have on Oregonians, and I will explore options to keep Oregon a safe place for everyone," Brown said in the statement. "I am also in contact with the Port of Portland and local authorities and am prepared to assist if necessary."