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>> His executive order on immigration sparking nationwide protests, court challenges and outrage, even from his fellow Republicans, US President Donald Trump doubled down Sunday night. The White House issuing a statement that the executive action is not a Muslim ban. And claiming it is, in fact, similar to action taken by President Obama in 2011.
Trump's order temporarily bans travel to the US from seven Middle-Eastern and North African nations. It halts new refugees from being admitted for four months, and blocks Syrian refugees from coming to America indefinitely. While Trump aides on Sunday told reporters the implementation of the travel ban was, quote, a massive success story, scenes in the streets and in the courts painted a different picture.
Federal judges in at least five states blocked parts of the order over the weekend. This saved many of those detained in US airports from deportation. Outrage growing as the list of those banned include Iraqis who worked as translators for the US military, aged parents of active US soldiers, and refugees already approved for family reunification in the US.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer choking up at a press conference standing alongside some of those threatened by the ban.>> This executive order, Was mean-spirited and un-American.>> 16 state attorneys general so far rejecting the executive order. By Sunday night, the Department of Homeland Security announced it was walking back part of the ban and would begin letting green-card holders and legal residents enter the US.
Most Republicans in Congress were silent. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stood by the measure. But two prominent Republican Senators, Lindsey Graham and John McCain, issued a forceful joint statement warning the action sends a signal America does not want Muslims in this country and calling it, quote, a self-inflicted wound in the fight against terrorism.
And that didn't sit well with the Commander in Chief. Trump, who spent part of Sunday watching the animated film Finding Dory, lashed out at Graham and McCain in language hyperbolic even for Trump, calling them wrong, weak on immigration and, quote, always looking to start World War III.