Trump’s Immigration Order Faces New Challenges Following Tumultuous Weekend

(WTNH/ Renee Chmiel)

(ABC) — President Trump’s executive order restricting travel and immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries received a fresh wave of legal and political challenges today following a tumultuous weekend in which protesters took to the streets in many American cities to voice their dissent.

Democrats sought to take advantage of the opposition by pushing legislation to undo the executive action.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said this morning that he would call for a vote on bills that would rescind the executive order.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California outlined in broad strokes what such legislation would accomplish: namely, rescinding the order; ensuring additional congressional oversight of Trump’s authority to bar people from entering the U.S.; and requiring the president to respond to questions about the rationale for barring certain classes of foreign nationals.

“Painting more than 200 million people with the same broad brush is contrary to the principles on which this nation was founded and will not make us any safer,” she said of the approximate number of people around the world affected by the order.

Federal lawsuits meanwhile have been filed in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington challenging the law, with experts expecting more to come.

The Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group, announced a federal lawsuit challenging the order this afternoon.

CAIR’s executive director, Nihad Awad, criticized the order and Trump’s leadership, arguing that the president had not transitioned effectively from a campaigner to a statesman.

“Trump’s order isn’t based on national security, it’s based on fear mongering,” he said in press conference.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, suggested to ABC News this morning on “Good Morning America” that the media had overblown the impact of the president’s order while pushing back against the criticism mounting against it.

“[The order] is temporary. It is narrowly prescribed,” she said.

President Trump defended the policy on Sunday. “This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe,” he said in a statement.

A Homeland Security official confirmed to ABC News on Monday that there are no more individuals being detained at U.S. airports under the order.

The official said that as of Sunday evening there had been 735 encounters at U.S. ports of entry under the executive order. Nearly 400 of the people stopped by law enforcement were legal permanent residents, and all but two of them entered the country.

Air France announced early Monday that it blocked 15 people from traveling to the United States because of the order, according to The Associated Press.

“We are committed to ensuring that all individuals affected by the executive orders, including those affected by the court orders, are being provided all rights afforded under the law,” the statement said.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a statement on its website that it was complying with emergency judicial rulings issued earlier that temporarily halted parts of Trump’s order.

Demonstrators planned to continue the momentum created over the weekend with about 10 gatherings at major U.S. airports this week, according to GroundGame, an organizing platform that tracks protests via social media. There were also a handful of demonstrations scheduled in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Beyond the widespread protests, businesses and universities also reacted to news of the controversial order.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein sent a voicemail to employees last night, saying he does not support the presidential order on immigration and that it could create “disruption” at the firm. Over the weekend, Bloomberg News obtained a staff memo circulated by Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai in which he criticized Trump’s action and suggested that employees who could be affected by it return to the U.S.

Colleges also advised foreign students and scholars to defer travel outside of the U.S. at least until there is more clarity on how the order may affect them.

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