Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Democrats will introduce legislation as soon as Monday to stop President Trump's actions temporarily banning refugees and arrivals from certain Muslim countries.
House Democrats are taking similar legislative action, and lawmakers from both chambers will rally Monday evening at the Supreme Court to protest Trump's orders.
"This executive order was mean-spirited and un-American," said Schumer, the New York Democrat, choking up as he stood with immigrants and refugees at a press conference Sunday. "It must be reversed immediately."
For those immigrants temporarily detained under a new Trump administration executive order at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, attorneys have put a priority on getting some of the older detainees released to their families.
One small victory for the lawyers was the case of Yassin Abdelrhman, a 76-year-old green card holder from Sudan who had been detained after a trip home to visit family. He was released about noon on Sunday after being detained for 30 hours.
In a statement to the New York Times today, Oscar-winning Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi said he no longer planned to attend this year's ceremony. Farhadi's film "The Salesman" is nominated in the foreign language film category.
Farhadi had initially hoped to attend despite the prohibition on visitors from Iran. But he said he had decided"the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip."
Perhaps nothing encapsulates the chaos emanating from President Trump’s executive order better than what happened with Ukrainian Airlines Flight 232.
The regularly scheduled flight to Kiev had to turn around on the tarmac at John F. Kennedy Airport early Sunday after a federal judge issued a stay of a deportation order of dozens of foreigners, including a 32-year-old Iranian linguist who is a doctoral candidate and former Fulbright scholar.
With just minutes to spare, Vahideh Rasekhi -- helped by volunteer lawyers and her smart phone – managed to prevent the flight from taking off. She had arrived Saturday afternoon, but was blocked from entering the United States by the executive order barring arrivals of citizens of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Libya.
Holding signs reading “Refugees Welcome” and chanting “No Ban, No Wall, Sanctuary for All,’’ several dozen demonstrators gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv on Sunday to join protests in the U.S. against President Trump’s new immigration policy.
Mia Zur Szpiro, a 36-year-old filmmaker, said she felt compelled to demonstrate because her parents survived the Holocaust. “We are a country of immigrants, and to me it was astounding that this [order] was passed on Holocaust Memorial Day,’’ she said. “It’s wrong to stereotype, and it's wrong to send people who are in need back into the face of danger and the risk of death.’’
Elliot Vaisbrub Glassenberg, a protest organizer and migrant rights activist, compared the new U.S. policy to Israeli policies toward tens of thousands of Eritrean and Sudanese migrants who crossed into the country illegally from Egypt’s Sinai desert.
Hundreds of travelers were blocked from entering the U.S. or prevented from boarding flights in the hours after President Trump signed his order banning arrivals from seven predominantly Muslim countries, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
In the order, Trump temporarily suspended refugee admissions and banned travelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
Scores of people from those countries were aboard airplanes flying toward the U.S. when Trump signed his executive order on Friday afternoon, setting off waves of confusion among border officials and the traveling public.
The White House on Sunday appeared to back down on a key part of President Trump’s tough new immigration order, signaling that travelers trying to enter the country from seven banned countries will be allowed in if they hold green cards.
White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that these legal permanent residents are exempt from the travel ban “moving forward,” even though over the weekend other administration officials said the rule did apply to them.
The apparent reversal came amid a national controversy over the new Trump order that temporarily halts the entry of all refugees to the U.S. and any traveler from seven majority Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
Barring individuals fleeing persecution from entering the United States is simply inhumane. Adding irony to injury, Trump’s executive order was issued on Holocaust Remembrance Day, which should have been an occasion to atone for turning away refugees during the 1930s—some of whom then died in concentration camps. For example, in 1939, the United States turned away the St. Louis, a boat filled with refugees, many of them German Jews. According to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 254 passengers from the St. Louis died in the Holocaust.