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Top Senate Democrat urges reversal of Trump immigration order

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, is pushing President Trump to rescind his immigration order barring refugees and citizens from seven Muslim majority countries from traveling to the U.S.

After protests erupted nationwide over the weekend opposing the implementation of Mr. Trump’s executive action, Schumer criticized the order for making the U.S. “less safe” and turning “much of the world against us.”

He wrote the message in a tweet early Sunday:

Later, Schumer vowed that members of his party -- many of whom have already expressed vocal opposition to the ban -- would ready legislation to rescind the order.

“It must be reversed immediately,” Schumer told reporters in New York on Sunday. “We’re demanding the president reverse these executive orders that go against what we are, everything we have always stood for.”

“If we get a few more Republicans, I think we might be able to pass legislation to overturn it,” said the Democratic leader, as he stood at a podium surrounded by recent refugees. “It will be up to getting more Republicans.”

The signed executive order, which went into effect immediately, included a 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. by any citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and also paused the broader American refugee program. 

Schumer also said he had been told by Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly that dozens of people that had been detained at airports would be allowed to enter the country, after a federal court judge issued an order halting deportations of those with valid visas. 

Kelly reportedly said green card holders from the listed countries would not be affected, but some in Trump’s inner circle have contradicted that report. On CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Reince Priebus, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, said “wide discretion” would be given to Customs and Border Patrol agents to deal with valid green card holders as they see fit, including subjecting them to further questioning. 

In the days since Mr. Trump signed the controversial oder, several Republicans have come out against Mr. the travel ban, boding well for Democratic attempts to reverse the temporary measures.

On Sunday, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that the implementation of the immigrant ban was a “confused process” that would likely give “more propaganda” ammunition to terror groups like ISIS in their war against the West.

“Obviously this process and these conclusions were not vetted,” McCain said.

In a joint statement with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another Senate Armed Services Committee member, McCain called the ban a “self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism,” citing what he deemed to be the order’s overbroad ban that would also block Iraqi allied forces from training at U.S. military bases.

Other top Republicans have criticized the ban, including Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona, and a host of other GOP legislators in the House. 

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