Democrats rally against Trump’s executive action

Greg Nash

Democrats gathered on the steps of the Supreme Court Monday evening to demand that President Trump roll back his executive order halting U.S. travel for citizens of several Muslim-majority countries and suspending refugee resettlement. 

Congressional Democrats rallied alongside hundreds of supporters, pledging to fight the executive order, which has drawn backlash from lawmakers in both parties.  

“Our president has stooped low in his order,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “[We] ask the president to withdraw this unconstitutional order.”
{mosads}The Trump administration has shown no sign of backing down from the executive order, issued on Friday evening. 
But Democrats are pledging to use Senate procedural rules, as well as public rallies, to try to build support. 
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Democrats would fight the “evil order.” 
“This order is against what we believe in America,” he said. “The order will make us unsafe. The order will make us inhumane. And the order will make us less of America.” 
Protests broke out in airports across the country over the weekend amid confusion about who the executive order impacted and as people who had already arrived or were en route to the U.S. were detained.
Democrats argue that Trump’s executive order is unconstitutional and out of line with American values. 
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — as supporters chanted “go Lizzy” — warned that Trump “is trying to chip away at the very foundation of our democracy.” 
“This country is in crisis. It is no longer business as usual in the United States Congress,” she said outside of the Supreme Court. “We will fight Donald Trump in the Congress. We will fight Donald Trump in the courts.”
Warren argued the protests and looming fight against Trump’s executive order are the “purest form of patriotism,” adding that Democrats are defending “our moral foundation.” 
Rep. Ruben Kihuen (D-Nev.), who was born in Mexico, said he wasn’t “surprised that these many people showed up here to speak up and speak out and push back on this anti-American, illegal, unconstitutional, illegal ban on Muslims. America’s better than this.”
Democrats face an uphill battle to roll back Trump’s executive order, with Republicans controlling both chambers in Congress. Though dozens of Republicans have voiced concerns about the measure, none have said they would support legislation that unraveled Trump’s ban.
Schumer tried to force a vote from the Senate floor on Monday evening on legislation, but was blocked by GOP Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.). 
Lawsuits have also been filed against Trump’s order, and a federal judge in New York issued an emergency stay temporarily halting the removal of individuals from the seven countries detained at airports after Trump’s order. 
The New York Times reported on Monday that the acting attorney general, an Obama holdover, directed the Justice Department not to defend the order in court, what is likely to be a short-lived protest until Trump’s attorney general pick Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) is confirmed.
But the White House fired its own shots on Monday, with press secretary Sean Spicer arguing the administration had a “very short period of time” to act. 

“What happened if we didn’t act and somebody was killed?” he asked on “Morning Joe.” “We act now to protect the future.”

Trump also defended the order arguing if they had publicly given a heads up “the ‘bad’ would rush into our country during that week.”

But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) countered on Monday night that Trump has “given ammunition to the jihadists all over the world” and emboldened terrorists.

“We do not hate the Muslim people and we want them to know that,” he said. “So we say to President Trump: Rescind that ban.” 

Several thousand protesters opposed to Trump’s executive orders braved a frigid night in Washington to cheer the Democrats on. There were congressional aides and retired couples, kids in strollers and dogs on leashes — at least one of them in a camouflaged sweater. 
Scores and scores of Democrats from both chambers filed toward the Court, many holding electric candles and singing Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land.” The crowd was only happy to join in.
The crowd appeared at some points to drown out some of the Democrats’ speeches from their perch on the steps. Reporters in the crowd asked on social media mid-event if the lawmakers had started speaking.
The crowd waved signs citing the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, highlighting America’s history as a nation of immigrants and attacking Trump and his team. One said simply, “Ban Bannon,” a jab at controversial top adviser Steve Bannon.
The chants — some more family-friendly than others — came one after the next: “Hands too small, can’t build a wall”; “No hate, no fear. Immigrants are welcome here”; “Build a fence around Mike Pence”; and “Hey Paul, hey Mitch: the Constitution’s not your b—-.”
The crowd also repeatedly broke out in support of individual senators, at one point chanting “Bernie!” and giving shoutouts to Democratic Sens. Cory Booker (N.J.) and Kamala Harris (Calif.), who are each getting early 2020 speculation. 
Leaving the gathering, Rep. Sandy Levin (D-Mich.) suggested Trump — and the opposition he’s incited — marks a highly unusual moment in the nation’s history.
“I’ve been around for a long time,” said the 85-year-old Levin. “I haven’t seen anything like this since the Vietnam War.” 
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), who spent much of the weekend at JFK airport in New York helping to secure the release of detained travelers, said the Democrats are greatly encouraged by the support they’ve seen.
“It’s good to see people really outraged by this. This is so un-American,” Nadler said. “One of the guys we got released had worked with American troops for years — was a dead man if he went back because of his cooperation … with our military. And they wanted to send him back.
“What kind of stupidity is that?” 

Rafael Bernal contributed

Tags Bernie Sanders Chuck Schumer Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Jeff Sessions Mike Pence Tom Cotton
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