TAMPA (FOX 13) - As people gathered in Tampa and around the country in protest of President Donald Trump's executive action banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. - a stay was granted at the federal level, halting actions to turn people with valid visas away at the airport.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit after the order stopped some immigrants as they exited planes at New York City's Kennedy Airport. Twelve refugees were detained under the order. Saturday evening, two had been released.
Meanwhile, a group gathered at Tampa International Airport Saturday evening after Gasparilla festivities ended, but they were turned away because they did not have the necessary permit required for a protest. The group reformed, in-part thanks to a tweet from Florida's ACLU chapter, at the corner of Kennedy Boulevard and Westshore Boulevard.
The crowd that began as about 20 around 8:30 p.m., grew in less than 30 minutes to 50, with more showing up by the minute. And as the crowd grew, news of the stay - the Trump administration's first defeat - brought cheers.
"It's sad and it's discouraging, because people want to come here to better themselves. Not for hateful reasons," protester Lena Kamal told FOX 13 News about the executive order from President Trump. "They want to come here and have a better life, because this is the place you come. It's the American Dream."
The crowd in Tampa was small compared to protests at New York's Kennedy airport, Washington, D.C.'s Dulles airport, and Chicago's O'Hare airport, where as many as 2,000 chanted and held signs with words of support for immigrants and their families.