In President Trump’s First Week, ACLU Hands Him First Stinging Rebuke

This is a remarkable day. When Donald Trump was elected president, we promised that if he tried to implement his unconstitutional and un-American policies that we would take him to court. We did that today. And we won.

Yesterday President Trump signed an executive order that suspended resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely, suspended all other refugee resettlement for 120 days, and banned the entry of nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days. All seven countries are predominately Muslim countries. We have no doubt that the motivation behind the executive order was discriminatory. This was a Muslim ban wrapped in a paper-thin national security rationale.

The executive order went into effect immediately and so did its destructive intent. At John F. Kennedy International Airport last night, Hameed Khalid Darweesh arrived and was immediately detained. Darweesh worked as interpreter for the Army’s 101st Airborne Division and, according to Brandon Friedman, a platoon leader in Iraq, saved countless U.S. service members’ lives. We don’t know how many other refugees and foreign nationals with green cards or visas might have been detained when they tried to make their way into the United States today, but we intend to find out. We are asking anyone with any information to get in touch with the ACLU.

The ACLU with other organizations immediately sprang into action and challenged Trump’s executive order in court as violating the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. We immediately got a hearing and argued our case. At around 9 p.m., Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly issued a stay, blocking President Trump’s discriminatory policy from taking effect and preventing refugees and immigrants from being deported. She did not rule on the constitutionality of the order, but for now, the men and women who would have been deported are safe. When I and staff attorney Lee Gelernt emerged from the courthouse, we were met with a sea of people cheering and chanting.

I cannot express how humbling and inspiring this moment is.

The United States is a nation governed by the rule of law and not the iron will of one man. President Trump now has learned that we are democratic republic where the powers of government are not dictatorial. They are limited. The courts are the bulwark of our democracy that protects individual rights and guards against the overreaching of an administration that confuses its will for the American public’s.

Tonight was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, one that demonstrates that the people united will never be divided. This is only the beginning. This is merely the first skirmish in a long battle to vigorously defend the Bill of Rights from the authoritarian designs of the Trump administration.

Savor this victory tonight, but prepare to fight on. 

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Anonymous

Thank you ACLU! You are preserving the foundations of our society.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Anonymous

First off it's temporary* (Syria is an exception). Second It is not unconstitutional. In no way does it violate the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952. But you're lawyers, you would know that already. The constitution also only applies to citizens. Non-citizens are not protected by the constitution. This is We the People's country and We the People can decide who can join We the People's ranks.

Joshua W.

Thank-you, ACLU. Will donate what I can.

Anonymous

Resist!
Extreme right-wing talking heads are talking about people eventually getting tired of whining and accepting "the new order". Constant vigilance is the price of liberty.

Anonymous

The 5th amendment (right to due process) applies to legal permanent residents. This administration is so incompetent that they deported green card holders without due process. Thus opening the door to legal litigation of this nonsense.

Ziyad Alrayes

"I have been placed on a shelf"

I never thought in my life what it means to be undignified, insulted and treated in such shameful way the way i feel now and where? in the land of the FREE.
Today i received a call from my immigration lawyer telling me that my Green Card application is "placed on a shelf" stopped due to Mr. Trump's executive order. Important to note that though I hold a Syrian passport, I never truly considered Syria as my country. I was born and lived in Kuwait, Graduated from an "American" University in Richmond England, moved to Dubai from Kuwait in 1996 have beautiful 3 boys all US Citizens that I even refused to offer them the Syrian passport, which by the way was against the wish and well of my own father!
I have raised my kids as Americans from birth, the first language at home was English and not Arabic. I fed them the american culture. They grow up as Americans, thinking, drinking and eating the American culture. I even encouraged my elderly son (22 years old who is an A class student at the university) to join the American Army to defend this great nation.
I came to America last January to support my old boy in his university and stand beside him only to find out that my other son Hadi who is visually disabled, Diabetic type 1 and in January last i found out his Kidney is weakening. I brought Hadi here to America last March to be be treated and taking care off by his own country under the best care.I cried for the attention he got from Lee County school district. Hadi was placed in the best school equipped to handle his visual disability, he was put under special education services (IEP) program. The attention received from Doctors on his diabetic condition was second to none!!! Up to that moment I was telling my father DAD see I am right and you were wrong! No country on earth will treat its citizens with dignity and pride like this great nation does.
Today all that was shattered, Today i was placed on the shelf by Mr. Trump. Today I have no answer to give to my wife who is stranded in Turkey and who is a Turkmenistan Christian when I will be able to see her and join her. My wife that I love so much I am sorry as our dream to unite soon is shattered by one signature of a pen by Mr. Trump. Today my Canadian sister told Canada will open its arms for me and you know what that even hurts me more!!!!!. Today I am a no one according to Mr. Trump "I am on the shelf" Today my own American sons are all feeling insecure THANK YOU Mr. Trump

Amy in TX

I'm so sorry. We are going to fight Trump and get your green card application off that shelf!

Terry

In the last couple of days I've been trying to remember the words inscribed on the Holocaust Memorial in Boston, and JeannieMarie's words reminded me again of those words so I looked it up.... it can be found here:
http://www.nehm.org/the-holocaust/
I always considered it a powerful message and today, even more so...

AHL

Just watching Romero's awesome Daily Show interview (EST 11:20-ish, western Mass.), maybe a couple minutes in -- and all of a sudden, blackout. Screen goes blank. Interview gone. Whaaaah?!!! Are we in USSR, circa sometime long past? WHAT is this? Feeling like the rug just got pulled out from under us, and anxious to see the rest of the convo between Romero and Trevor Noah. Does anyone know what happened?

Anonymous

I am a Canadian and not affected by this ban. However, I can not support a country with such a law. I had planned a vacation in the U.S. This has been cancelled. If every citizen of every country refused to travel to the U.S., how would this "make America great again"? Your tourism industry would suffer. The US departures terminals at the airport would be mostly empty.
I realize people must travel for business but I encourage everyone to cancel their pleasure trips. Let our voice be heard.
Vancouver, B.C.

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