Durbin calls for Senate hearings on Trump's immigration orders

Durbin calls for Senate hearings on Trump's immigration orders
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Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinOvernight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments Overnight Defense: US to send 1K more troops to Mideast amid Iran tensions | Iran threatens to break limit on uranium production in 10 days | US accuses Iran of 'nuclear blackmail' | Details on key defense bill amendments On The Money: Democrats move funding bills as budget caps deal remains elusive | Companies line up to weigh in on 0B China tariffs | Trudeau to talk trade with Pelosi, McConnell MORE (D-Ill.) is calling on Republicans to hold hearings on President Trump's immigration orders.

In a letter sent to Senate Majority Whip John CornynJohn CornynThis week: Democrats move funding bills as caps deal remains elusive This week: Democrats move funding bills as caps deal remains elusive Trump puts GOP in tough spot with remarks on foreign 'dirt' MORE (R-Texas), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee's subpanel on immigration, Durbin requested a series of hearings on the president's recent "immigration and refugee executive orders."

"These executive orders, which have dramatic implications for our immigration system, are inconsistent with America's heritage as a nation of immigrants and a safe haven for those fleeing persecution," Durbin wrote in the letter.

"The Subcommittee has an urgent responsibility to address the serious questions that have been raised about the legality, efficacy, and morality of these orders."

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Durbin pointed to a series of orders the president has issued on immigration, including Trump's controversial order barring refugees and people from seven predominately Muslim countries from entering the U.S. and the president's order to build a wall along the country's southern border.

Durbin wrote that the Department of Homeland Security inspector general has opened an investigation "into the poorly planned and chaotic implementation" of Trump's travel ban at the request of himself and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

"We must show President Trump that Congress is an independent branch of the federal government that will not be intimidated by his bullying behavior and immediately begin hearings on his immigration and refugee executive orders," Durbin wrote.

"These executive orders fall squarely under the jurisdiction of this Subcommittee and there is ample precedent for the Subcommittee holding hearings to examine executive actions on immigration."

A panel of federal judges is currently weighing whether a court order blocking the president's travel ban should be lifted.

On Tuesday, federal judges grilled lawyers on both sides of the president's immigration order as they weighed whether the order should be reinstated.

The San Francisco-based 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is debating whether it should lift a temporary restraining order freezing Trump's travel ban while lawsuits challenging the order's constitutionality proceed.

The order had faced backlash from many lawmakers and has spurred protests across the country. The president and his team have said the order is necessary to keep the country safe.

This report was updated at 9:10 a.m.