As protests over President Trumps temporary travel ban for people from seven predominantly Muslim countries erupted Sat JFK airport on Saturday afternoon, one man quickly became the focal point.
His name is Hameed Khalid Darweesh, and was a translator for U.S. troops in Iraq.
For hours, Twitter lit up with tweets about Darwish from people who wanted to use him to make a point about the ban.
"Look at the airports" -DT
Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an Iraqi interpreter who worked for the US military
— Sage Myers (@Redsoxma) January 28, 2017
Two Democratic members of Congress from New York quickly headed to JFK to see if they could help speed things up for Darweesh.
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) January 28, 2017
Trump haters latched on to Darweesh and his predicament. Here is one of the family-friendly from the anti-Trump Twitter crowd:
— ResistTrump (@SphallSteve1245) January 28, 2017
There was a lot of rejoicing among the crowd at the airport and the social media protesters when it was announced that Darweesh had been released.
When he finally made it outside to address the media, more than one reporter couldn’t wait to ask him if he had anything to say to Donald Trump (not “President” Trump).
The money line is about one minute into the clip.
Hameed Khalid Darweesh on President Trump: “I like him, but I don’t know. This is a policy, I don’t know.” https://t.co/Sf0Zka9pIm
— Joshua Chavers (@JoshuaChavers) January 28, 2017
The New York Times had Darweesh as the feature of its story on Trump’s order. This is what the Times wrote:
Shortly after noon, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an interpreter who worked for more than a decade on behalf of the United States government in Iraq, was released. After nearly 19 hours of detention, Mr. Darweesh began to cry as he spoke to reporters, putting his hands behind his back and miming handcuffs.
Document: Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in Kennedy Airport Detention
“What I do for this country? They put the cuffs on,” Mr. Darweesh said. “You know how many soldiers I touch by this hand?”
Just when activists thought they had their face for protests against Trump’s so-called “ban” on immigrants from certain Muslim majority nations, Darweesh’s statement about ‘liking’ Trump foils their plans.
Velazquez’s reaction sums it all up.