LAX travelers, immigrants detail impact of Trump travel ban

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Los Angeles city leaders are taking a close look at the impact President Donald Trump's travel ban has had on immigrants, refugees and travelers at LAX.

Some affected by the ban testified before a City Council committee about the struggles they had when they tried to travel through Los Angeles International Airport.

One grad student, an Iranian national from Austria, gave emotional testimony detailing how she was forced to sign documents relinquishing her student visa and was threatened with being banned from the country for years.

The ACLU said they saw many abuses against detainees.

"It was terrible," said Jennie Pasquarella with the ACLU. "Some of the worst abuses we have seen in any of this type of work. We saw people who were detained for more than 30 hours."

The committee also looked at the impact protests against the travel order had on the airport itself. Thousands of protesters showed up at LAX, shutting down traffic and delaying passengers and several flights.

Airport Police Chief Dave Maggard said the city wants to make sure protesters have a safe place to demonstrate, but also in a way that allows travelers to come and go.

"We want to make sure there are places to safely protest and express people's views. But we also want to make sure that people can come and go, because this is a very busy place," Maggard said.

City officials say they invited federal Customs and Border Protection officials to appear, but they declined, saying they would only answer written questions.
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