NIU Professor Shares Experience From O'Hare Immigration Protests

Jan 31, 2017

A Northern Illinois University professor was one of the hundreds of demonstrators at O’Hare International Airport last weekend. The protests were against President Donald Trump’s travel restrictions against people from majority-Muslim countries.

NIU education professor Joseph Flynn took several videos of protesters at O'Hare International Airport.

NIU education professor Joseph Flynn says he saw many walks of life take part in the O’Hare Airport demonstrations – including several different races and creeds and members of the LGBTQ community.

“And to see a crowd that big come out for people they don’t know, for immigrants and refugees, to me was a much clearer reflection of American values and ideals than anything that I’ve heard over the last handful of weeks,” Flynn said.

Flynn says he’s participated in multiple marches before for different reasons. But he says this was the first time he ever jumped up and went to join a protest after seeing and hearing stories about detained refugees at U.S. airports – including O’Hare. 

“Reading so many commentaries from other world leaders – Angela Merkel, for example, of Germany, and others – it’s not good for the United States to be seen in the way that we’re being seen,” Flynn said. “We’re losing credibility, and it is really hard to rebuild that credibility.”

President Trump’s signed order suspends Syrian refugees indefinitely. It also blocks travel into the country for 90 days for citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Green-card holders from those countries also may be prohibited on a case-by-case basis from entering the U.S. again if they travel abroad.