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Immigration Ban: Democratic Senators to Introduce Bills Overturning Trump

Democratic Senators are expected to introduce legislation as early as Monday that aims to overturn President Trump's executive orders on immigration.
Image: Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Connecticut, led a 15-hour filibuster Wednesday to force Senate action on gun control.J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Democratic Senators are expected to introduce legislation as early as Monday that aims to overturn President Trump's executive orders on immigration.

On Sunday, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., announced via Twitter that he was planning a bill "this week" that would put a stop to what he called Trump's "dangerous, hateful order."

On Monday morning, Murphy told MSNBC that Trump’s ban would encourage terrorist recruitment by positioning the United States as anti-Muslim: “This, ultimately, is going to get Americans killed. I believe it.”

"We have now handed them a path to rebirth...this is a huge win for hardliners," Murphy said of ISIS cells in the Middle East.

He also stressed that the U.S. should retain a program for refugees escaping ISIS: "We are not a partner in fighting ISIS if we are not a partner in trying to deal with the flow of displaced peoples outside of those countries."

The Connecticut senator suggested that the U.S. should focus on vetting European citizens with potential terrorist ties rather than issuing a ban on select nations, and should make sure that those who manage to enter the U.S. are unable to get access to weapons.

PHOTOS: ‘Trump Out, Refugees In’: Ban Sparks Protests Across Nation

Murphy also criticized the executive order's ban on Syrian refugees, saying that while U.S. officials may differ on solutions for the Syrian conflict, they generally have "a long-standing belief that we should rescue people from a fire even if we can’t agree on how to put it out."

Meanwhile, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., appeared on the TODAY show Monday morning and said that he plans to call for a vote to overturn the executive orders by late Monday on the Senate floor.

"This is a blanket ban. It hurts innocent people and doesn’t stop terrorism. It’s just appalling," Schumer said on TODAY.

The executive order signed last Friday severely restricts travel from seven countries where Islam is the primary religion: Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Sudan, and Somalia. The widely-criticized “Muslim Ban” created chaos in airports over the weekend as green card holders and previously vetted refugees were detained and threatened with immediate deportation.

On Twitter Sunday night, Feinstein described two bills she plans to introduce Monday: "The first bill immediately rescinds the order. The second limits executive authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act."

It remains unclear how much progress the any Democrat-sponsored bills would make through GOP-controlled Congress.

But Republicans and Democrats alike have criticized the executive order, and senior officials at the State Department and Department of Homeland Security told NBC News they weren’t consulted on how to implement the order, and protests erupted nationwide — at airports, detention centers, government offices, and city parks.

President Trump took to Twitter to deny a link between his orders and the airport chaos, instead blaming the confusion on Delta airlines — despite the fact that Delta's flight-grounding issues only occurred on Sunday night, while the majority of traveler detentions took place on Friday and Saturday.

Trump later Monday morning lashed out at Schumer, saying his "tears were 5 percent real, mostly fake" in regards to the immigration ban.

At a rally in New York’s Battery Park on Sunday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., told NBC News to expect a bill as early as Monday.

"There’s some pieces of federal legislation being drafted right now that will be introduced on Monday,” Gillibrand said. “President Trump’s executive order is immoral and un-American, and it’s going to harm our country."

Gillibrand also responded to reports that DHS had refused to comply with court orders that placed a stay on the travel bans: "If that is the case, we have a huge problem. We have a separation of powers for a reason, and to disregard the judicial branch is a serious breach of the law and of the constitution."

Schumer also spoke at the Battery Park rally, calling Trump’s executive order on immigration "horrible, vicious, and nasty."

"The orders make us less humanitarian, less safe, less American,” Schumer told the crowd of roughly 30,000. "And when it comes to making us less safe people forget this, that's why so many of our military, intelligence, security, and law enforcement leaders are opposed to this order and all those like it."