Sound Transit blocked protests at SeaTac>
Sound Transit blocked protests at SeaTac? Charles Mudede

Before the nationwide protests against the Trump Muslim ban began around the country, and before people starting arriving en masse, before the Port of Seattle Police instructed Sound Transit to skip the train stations by the airport, the Port of Seattle Commission released a stirring and heartwarming statement condemning the immigration ban.

It read in part:

"America is great because we are a land of immigrants and that is what made us great to begin with."

The rest of the statement is nice, too:

“This airport is owned by the citizens of King County and our responsibility is to steward it for their wellbeing and long-term future. The Port of Seattle Commissioners, Tom Albro, Courtney Gregoire, Stephanie Bowman, Fred Felleman and John Creighton are here today to express our concerns over the immigration ban executive order that was issued late last night. As the government that operates this airport, this executive order runs counter to our values. America is great because we are a land of immigrants and that is what made us great to begin with.

“As the operators of this airport, we are deeply concerned that the abrupt nature of the executive order did not allow adequate process for public agencies such as ourselves to provide service that travelers and families expect and deserve. We took it upon ourselves to request a full briefing from Customs and Border Protection to understand how they are addressing this situation. We respect these hard working federal employees who are under tremendous strain. However, when we felt that traveler needs were not fully met, the Port of Seattle stepped up. We started providing private waiting areas for families here at the airport and connecting families to lawyers who can help advocate for their rights and the rights of their loved ones.

“We met with some individuals who are impacted by this executive order. One of the impacted families happens to live right here in this community, and happens to be employed by this airport. We will continue to stand with you.”

But later, the Port directed Sound Transit to skip the airport station for about thirty minutes.

Port of Seattle police told Heidi Groover that the temporary stoppage was due to "public safety."

The decision upset protesters and politicians alike (and, one Charles Mudede). King County Executive Dow Constantine wrote on Twitter:

"Light rail should run when and where people need it, and request to stop should go up to senior level."

Heidi Groover