5,000 protesters decry Trump immigration order in downtown Minneapolis

Demonstrators gathered at the Federal Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday evening.

Iraqi refugees Hawra Albattat and Saja Alnabi march through downtown Minneapolis to protest President Donald Trump's immigration ban on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.

Carter Jones

Iraqi refugees Hawra Albattat and Saja Alnabi march through downtown Minneapolis to protest President Donald Trump’s immigration ban on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. “We can’t go home and see our family now,” Albattat said.

Max Chao

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in downtown Minneapolis on Tuesday to protest President Donald Trump’s executive order to temporarily ban immigration from several Muslim-majority countries.

The crowd of around 5,000 gathered in front of the federal courthouse to hear several activists and officials speak against the order before marching down streets while chanting and hoisting signs.

The protests came in response to the executive order Trump signed on Friday that bars immigration to the U.S. from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia for a period of time. Minneapolis is home to a large Somali-American population.

At the University of Minnesota, at least 125 students are from the affected countries, according to fall 2016 enrollment data.

“Your mayor and your city stand with you,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said to the crowd. In her speech, Hodges stressed that she wouldn’t back away from her stance that Minneapolis is a sanctuary city even in the face of Trump’s threats to withdraw funding from such places.

People in the crowd at Tuesday’s event talked positively with on another even though they shared strong anti-Trump sentiments.

“I think this is just the beginning of [Trump’s] reckless behavior,” said University of Minnesota alumnus Hamid Mokhtarzadeh, whose family friend was detained at an airport for 12 hours. “I think it has become clear that the reckless statements he made during the campaign is what he wants to do.”

During the protest, demonstrators marched through the downtown area of Minneapolis for around an hour, circling back to the courthouse. As they marched, they yelled chants like “No ban, no wall, sanctuary for all” and held signs including “I love my Muslim neighbors” and “Love Trumps hate.”

“We are here for our friends and all of the immigrants across the country just to let them know that we support them and that they are welcome here,” said Macalester College student Deborah Pickford.