WSU staff plans ‘Refugee Solidarity gathering’ at airport Sunday

Brittney Schaeffer, behavioral health systems specialist at Wichita State’s Community Engagement Institute, has helped organize a “peaceful protest” planned outside the Eisenhower Airport today.

Schaeffer, in a private Facebook group, said she spoke with airport police and Wichita police, and they have told her the protest will take place on the sidewalks in front of the airport from 4 to 6 p.m. this evening.

Protests erupted at airports nationwide Saturday, following the implementation of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigrants from seven countries and temporarily halting refugee admissions for 120 days to improve the vetting process.

The order then caps refugee admissions at 50,000 a year. Before President Obama increased refugee admissions in 2016, 50,000 stands roughly in between a typical year of refugee admissions in George W. Bush’s two terms and a typical year in Obama’s two terms, when the United States admitted around 70,000 refugees on average.

Schaeffer encourages potential protesters to bring signs and “PG-rated chants.” Protesters will have to pay to park at the airport.

The Sunflower will be on the scene with more details.