Schumer on Trump's Immigration Order: 'Throw It in the Trash'

By Susan Jones | February 13, 2017 | 4:47am EST
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) talks about the Trump administration's executive order pausing immigration from seven failed states, on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2017. (Screen grab from CBS)

( - Speaking about President Trump's contested executive action on immigration, "I think he ought to throw it in the trash," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday.

I think this executive order is so bad and so poisoned, and its genesis is so bad and terrible, that he ought to just throw it in the trash can, and for two reasons.

First reason, it doesn't really make us safer. It doesn't focus on the areas where we really need to tighten up. They are, number one, on lone wolves. The last two major terrorist incidents in America didn't occur through immigrants. They were Americans importuned by the evil ISIS. And no less an authority than John McCain, Republican, has said that this order actually encourages lone wolves.

And the second is something called the visa waiver program. It is very easy to come to America from countries that we have always regarded as friendly. There are, I think, 27 of them.

But these days, there are would-be terrorists who have infiltrated places like Belgium and France. And they can come into this country much more easily than someone who is a refugee from the seven countries the president mentioned. That needs real tightening up.

Schumer said Trump's executive order is "just un-American and unconstitutional" because it's a "religious ban."  "We believe in immigrants in this country. And we don't believe in a religious test."

Both the president and his aides have firmly denied that the order affecting only seven of the dozens of Muslim-majority countries is a "Muslim ban." They say the temporary pause in immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen has more to do with the inability to properly vet people coming to the U.S. from those countries where security is minimal or non-existent.

Schumer said the order -- a temporary immigration pause in six of the countries -- "hurts us economically. When immigrants don't come to this country, it hurts our job creation, our job growth. Silicon Valley is very worried that a lot of their jobs are going to have to go to Vancouver, where Canada has a much more forward-looking immigration policy."

Host John Dickerson asked Schumer, "Why not have a pause?"

"Well, first, it is not a pause for Syria," Schumer replied. (Immigration for Syrians is indefinitely suspended.)

"And, second, it cuts against the grain of what America is all about, which is, it embodies a religious test. That is how Rudy Giuliani set it up. That is, John -- that's how President Trump talked about it. And it doesn't focus on the areas that need to make us safe."

Schumer noted that a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals -- which upheld a lower court's temporary restraining order -- cited the Trump administration's failure to show evidence that the executive order would make the nation safer.

Appearing on NBC's "Meet the Press," White House Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller said the Trump administration is "pursuing every single possible action to keep our country safe from terrorism."

He said the options include issuing "additional executive actions" to replace the contested order.

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