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Schumer vows to overturn Trump’s executive order, calls it ‘mean-spirited and un-American’

Posted at 7:11 PM, Jan 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-29 19:11:30-05

NEW YORK — Sen. Chuck Schumer vowed to overturn President Donald Trump's executive order that placed a travel ban from some Muslim-majority countries in an emotional Sunday morning news conference.

"We've had an emotional few minutes, myself together with these newly Americans standing right by me," Schumer told a packed room or reporters and photographers as he tried to hold back tears.

The Democratic senator from New York cried when talking to two refugee families from Iraq and Syria who emigrated to the U.S. in the last six weeks. The families would have been deported if they had tried to arrive this weekend when President Trump's executive order to halt travel from seven Muslim-majority countries went into effect.

"This executive order was mean-spirited and un-American and implemented in a way to create chaos and confusion across the country and it will only serve to embolden and inspire those around the globe who will do us harm," Schumer said.

Azzam Elias, 62, who was at the news conference with his daughter, son-in-law and their four children, cried as he described the suicide bombers in front of his daughter's house in Damascus.

This grandfather and his wife said they were so happy one of their daughter's family is safe and now living with them in The Bronx, but he said he is still worried about his other daughter who is trapped in Lebanon.

"It's very hard to see people killed, children being killed right and left and you can't protect your family," Elias said.

Refugee Mohammed Hameed said he worked in Iraq for 10 years as an interpreter for the U.S. military. He and his family were granted protected refugee status when his life was threatened. Hameed said he stil worries for the safety of his brother who is still in Iraq.

"He is my brother, am concerned for him," Hameed said.

Senator Schumer criticized Trump's string of executive orders he signed on his first week in office.

"These orders go against what America has always been about. The orders make us less humanitarian, less safe and less American."

Schumer said the orders threatened American security.

The senator said he and Democrats in the Senate will be introducing legislation to overturn the executive order Monday.

"I, as your senator from New York, will claw, scrap and fight with every fiber of my being until these orders are overturned."