Schumer calls for Trump admin to ‘rescind’ refugee order


Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is calling on the Trump administration to back off the president’s sweeping order barring many refugees after a number of detentions at U.S. airports Saturday.

Schumer said that he called Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly on Saturday “to urge the administration to rescind these anti-American executive actions that will do absolutely nothing to improve our safety.”

“In fact, they will do the opposite. We have a long and proud tradition of accepting refugees who seek safety in the United States, after a long and thorough vetting process. That tradition should continue,” he said.

“These executive orders were mean-spirited and un-American in their origin, and implemented in a way that has caused chaos and confusion across the country. They will only serve to embolden and inspire those around the globe who would do us harm. They must be reversed, immediately,” Schumer added.

{mosads}The Democratic leader’s statement came after two refugees were detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport on Friday after Trump’s order went into effect.

The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal groups filed a lawsuit on behalf of two Iraqi refugees detained and threatened with deportation at JFK early Saturday morning.

Hameed Jhalid Darweesh, who worked for the U.S. government in Iraq for 10 years, was blocked from entering the U.S. when he landed at JFK on Friday night. He was later released.

Democratic Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) worked to secure his release on Saturday as reports emerged that a number of other refugees were being detained.

Trump defended his order on Saturday amid chaos as the administration moved to implement his directive, which was handed down Friday evening and bars Syrian refugees indefinitely while halting the resettlement of all refugees for four months.

It also blocks entry for 90 days for individuals coming from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Libya and Yemen.

The Department of Homeland Security said Saturday the order also applies to green card holders from the seven impacted countries. A senior administration official clarified green card holders from countries outside the U.S. could receive a waiver on a case-by-case basis.

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