ACLU and Other Groups Ask for Emergency Hearing on the Muslim Ban from International Human Rights Body

The ACLU, joined by more than 40 other groups, is taking the fight against President Trump’s immoral and unconstitutional Muslim ban to the international stage.

Since the implementation of the ban just over two weeks ago, refugee and human rights officials around the world have been quick to remind the president that fear and xenophobia are no excuse for discrimination. Indeed, it’s clear that the ban flies in the face of nearly every single United States obligation and commitment under international law. In fact, it may be hard to find one it doesn’t violate.

Most obviously, the ban counters the letter and spirit of the Refugee Convention, a landmark document drafted after the Holocaust to respond to the 20th century’s largest refugee crisis. The convention was later integrated into U.S. domestic law after the U.S. ratified the Protocol Related to Refugees in 1968. Even Ronald Reagan, a supposed hero of Donald Trump, knew better than to violate it.

This week, the ACLU and the International Justice Resource Center, along with more than 40 other groups, sent an urgent letter to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights requesting an emergency hearing on likely violations of U.S. commitments under the charter of the Organization of American States and the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man. The commission — a human rights instrument tasked with monitoring and protecting human rights across the Americas — has a particular interest and stake in this case. Not only is the executive order intended to lock out tens of thousands of migrants from the seven majority-Muslim countries named, but the order’s sweeping ban on refugees also bars entry to Central American children feeing violence in countries including Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The order recklessly and gratuitously endangers the lives of these unaccompanied children.

Just last week, the commission issued a strong statement on President Trump’s actions, expressing “deep concern” and “urg[ing] the United States to rescind” the unconstitutional executive orders that the president signed in his first week in office. The commission rightly called these orders discriminatory, and said that both in intent and effect, they “represent a policy designed to stigmatize and criminalize migrants or anyone perceived as a migrant.”

An emergency hearing would affirm the U.S. government’s obligations and send a message to the Trump administration that the world will not turn a blind eye to U.S. human rights violations for the next four years. If the commission holds a hearing, it would be in March, and the Trump administration would be invited to attend and defend itself.

This week in U.S. court, the administration argued that a federal court doing its job in halting a blatant violation of the Constitution, a core American principle known as “judicial review,” actually amounts to “judicial second-guessing” of the president. Even more appallingly, government lawyers argued that that review actually imposes a greater harm on the U.S. government than the ban does on the thousands of Syrian refugees, Central American children, and countless migrants and refugees from Muslim-majority countries trying to enter the country. We strongly disagree, and so do bipartisan former national security, foreign policy, and intelligence officials at the highest levels of the U.S. government. Now we’re inviting the Trump administration to make that claim in front of the whole world.

When President Trump won the election, we warned him that if he implemented the policies he proposed, we’d see him in court. He did, and we sued. Now, while advocates fight the president’s Muslim ban in U.S. courts and millions of Americans take the fight to the streets, we’re bringing his policies to the international stage, and asking the world to weigh in.

If he does not heed calls to rescind the executive order, President Trump is moving the U.S. closer and closer to joining the sorry company of pariah countries and authoritarian regimes. Like them, President Trump has shown little respect for the rule of law, human rights, and the law of nations. He is charting a dangerous course for all of us. 

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Which is why I don't understand why SOMEone hasn't started impeachment but he can't do it alone. The entire Congress & Senate are just as guilty as HE is now, voting for goddam SESSIONS. They're doing just as much damage as he is.

Believe what you want but I'm not Democrat and you haven't seen ANYthing yet. If he does what he did in my dream (2 years ago I dreamed he was president and working behind the American people's backs with a foreign leader) and they did something that kills hundreds of thousands of people. Two of the three parts of the dream have already come true and dozens of "coincidences" have aligned exactly as they were in the dream. Which is why I think someone NEEDS to be watching him, not just "should follow what he does" but needs to do it as if lives depend on it.
After so many pieces of the dream have conVENIENTly fallen into the exact places in reality, I don't think people should wait to see what he's up to with Putin, the "foreign leader" with which he's probably working behind our backs.
I just think precautions should be taken in CASE he's doing something like that.
I never had dreams like that until I had a near-death experience and life flight of Los Angeles brought me back from a clinical death state. Before that happened I didn't even believe I had a spirit, until suddenly I WAS one.

Last but not least, he's never been doing this in Eric's name. Eric and the thousands of others who died on September 11. The reason is obvious: He EXcluded Saudi Arabia from the list when at least 10 hijackers were Saudi Arabian. He can't pull that lying bullshit on a family member of a 9/11 victim. We know Saudi Arabia was more involved than any other country. Osama bin Laden was FROM that country for God's sake and his HISSY fit at the Saudi royal family, who has bought every damn one of our politicians it seems, is the reason Eric's dead. So no I DON'T like the Saudi royal family. Even my friend from Australia disliked them and he's usually a tolerant person.

Not in his name:
Eric L. Bennett
He was always happy & denied life at 29. Trump is almost always miserable but gets to keep living.
Why? It doesn't make any sense.

Grace Howe

You guys need to get yours somehow! You think you are doing the right thing but what's happening is you are justifying your own existence and using the courts to do so. Find a job where you can be proud because this is sick! You can't just sue, sue, sue!!! Now in New York the stop and frisk bull crap! The jogger's killer would not have been found without stop and frisk....I honestly don't know how you sleep at night!!!

The Vanguard

That's ridiculous. People's lives are being impacted by this and no one is getting safer. I'm not sure how you sleep at night, oh wait, I do. Ignorance is bliss.

Mary B. West

I throw down Three Challenges here, today.

First, in our UNITY AGAINST the MUSLIM BAN, and in SUPPORT of our MUSLIM brothers and sisters...........I challenge ACLU members to donate
$5.00-$10.00 (or more) today.

$5.00-$10.00 (or more) in

LASTLY, if you OBJECT to the CONFIRMATION OF JEFF SESSIONS, make it known by
donating an additional $5.00-$10.00 (or more).

THE ACLU needs a regular influx of cash so they can PROTECT OUR CIVIL RIGHTS. Do not kid yourself that YOUR RIGHTS are not going to CONSTANTLY BE UNDER ATTACK by Unconstitutional moves by Trump and his Cabinet. The ACLU is OUR GUARDIAN and OUR PEACE OF MIND. PLEASE, ANSWER THESE DONATION CHALLENGES!

Mary B. West

I made a $30.00 donation after I threw my challenge out to the ACLU Members yesterday. Did any of you get the chance to donate??


Trump seems to be breaking all kinds of laws against our country & the Constitution and we are all reminded on a daily basis by social media posts, but we have not seen any action to legally address these violations. I know you are all busy, but it might make people feel a little hopeful that there is something being done about Trump breaking laws. Right now he seems to be able to do what he wants.

Jan C.

I'm just relieved the emergency brake on this train wreck works! Thank you ACLU and our honorable Judges. This is the America I love. Stronger together.


You're so right! I think the ACLU is the most effective organization We the People have. I used to live in California; now I live in Tucson AZ - a red state (shudder). My two senators, my House member representing the district I live in is a Republican, the governor is a Republican who is "thrilled" with Trump (his quote). I've written numerous letters; made numerous calls; no impact whatsoever. The Republican majority is going to do everything it wants to do. I feel as though I have no voice at all; except for the ACLU. The ACLU has our backs . . and yes, we are stronger together.


Thanks to all the people who donated. We need to support the ACLU . . but, they need a sustainable amount of money that they can count on. I signed up for an automatic recurring amount of $10 per month. They need more than just a one-time donation, although that certainly helps.

Fred Rovner

At the risk of sounding educated and I guess therefore elitist it my understanding that our nation was founded on the principle of "The Rule of Law" and the Constitution of The United States is the law of the land and the foundation of all law and regulation in the United States. We now seem to have invited a pack of grifters, liars, and dangerous ideologues into government. This crew do not seem to understand our system of government or the real problems we face as a society nor do they appear to care. As unpleasant as this is, perhaps they have succeeded in awaking the majority of decent and patriotic Americans. Let us hope we are not lulled back to a collective sleep.

Perhaps we should all understand that all Federal, State and local employees swear an oath to the Constitution not to the President or a political party. This oath is legally enforceable and is taken very seriously by the courts. Officials who knowingly violate their oath of office should and can be removed from office or even jailed. As a Viet Nam veteran and former Infantry officer who now practices medicine I have taken many oaths. I take these promises very seriously. They go to honor, trustworthiness and virtue. Once taken such oaths are honored by honorable people. Dishonorable people should be found out and removed from office. This is why we have ethics laws and watch dogs in and out of government. I say the President and his advisers should be investigate and if found to have violated their oaths of office, the letter or spirit of the law and/or the Constitution they should go.


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