The night before parts of President Donald Trump's travel ban on majority-Muslim countries go back into effect, immigrant advocates and attorneys will gather at BAM Rose Cinemas in Fort Greene Wednesday for the screening of 48 Hours of Resistance—a short film about the emergency response to Trump's initial executive order dropped in January.
"In the world of fighting for immigrant rights, you really want to be able to showcase a win for your community," said Murad Awawdeh, director of political engagement at the New York Immigration Coalition, which is hosting tonight's event. "This is one of those moments when people's voices were heard."
The fifteen minute film, by filmmaker Micah Schaffer, includes footage from the ground during the emergency travel ban protest at JFK Airport, including interviews with lawyers, advocates and detainees. It also covers the logistics of organizing a subsequent anti-travel ban action in Battery Park. "It gives sense of real clarity about how we were able to do this kind of work with almost no time to do it," Awawdeh said.
After the screening, NYIC will host a panel with Ahmed Ali Akbar, host of BuzzFeed's See Something Say Something podcast; Camille Mackler, director of legal initiatives for NYIC; Sudanese graduate student Nisrin Elamin, who was detained at JFK; Ahed Festuk, a Syrian refugee who translated for travelers and lawyers at JFK; and Awawdeh.
Trump's initial executive order, signed in January, prohibited refugees and citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the U.S. This led to hundreds of detentions at airports across the country, and a federal stay issued less than 24 hours after implementation, in Brooklyn. The Trump Administration released an updated version of the plan in March, barring citizens of Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days and refugees for 120 days. Courts in Hawaii and Maryland suspended that order before it could take effect—decisions upheld by appeals courts.
This week, the Supreme Court said it would hear arguments on the case in October—a move Trump called "a clear victory for our national security." In the meantime, the Supreme Court decided, the ban will not be enforceable against "foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States."
"If it is implemented appropriately... we believe that people impacted would be a very, extremely low number," Awawdeh said. "Tourists from Muslim majority countries."
Anyone who has a family member in the United States, is traveling here for school or for work, or has an arrangement with a refugee resettlement program should not be barred under the guidelines, he added.
But advocates say the possibility of miscommunication and chaos is there. Tomorrow morning, a skeleton crew of attorneys will dispatch to JFK.
"Customs and Border Protection is going to have to implement this, so we hope they are going to do it in a fair and transparent process, and not subjugate people to being additionally screened or detained for no reason," Awawdeh said.