Protests return for second day at Sky Harbor over President Trump's immigration executive order

Posted at 4:30 PM, Jan 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-30 07:34:34-05

Hundreds of people packed into Sky Harbor on Sunday for the second day of demonstrations against President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration.

The crowd outside Terminal 4 included church groups, families of diverse ethnic backgrounds, Hispanic and Muslim community activists and immigration attorneys.

Masha Priest, a refugee from the former Soviet Union, says she came to the U.S. in 1991. 

"This was really, really tough and there was nowhere else I could go," she said. "I have no country of citizenship, even today."

The protests continued across the country to speak out against Trump's executive order, which caused confusion and panic at many airports as even those with green cards and other documentation proving U.S. residency were detained by immigration officials.

Muslim-American immigration lawyer Abdul Jaiteh was among hundreds of people protesting the controversial executive order.

"This executive order is having people detained within our borders at the airports and they're not afforded due process," Jaiteh said. 

Neither immigration attorneys at the protest nor Sky Harbor officials were aware of any Muslim travelers stopped in Phoenix.

RELATED: Inside the confusion of Trump's executive order and travel ban

The nationwide detentions prompted a flurry of legal activity, with at least four federal rulings, in New York, Virginia, Massachusetts and Washington, ruling against the executive branch and ordering the release of legal U.S. residents held solely as a result of the executive order.

Those with valid green cards or visas were released late Saturday night into the early hours on Sunday morning. Officials later said roughly 350 people were detained as a result of the executive order.

On Sunday, the White House issued a statement from President Trump defending the order, which calls for a 90-day ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries and a 120-day ban on admitting refugees.

"This is not about religion — this is about terror and keeping our country safe," the statement read.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.