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. 

View comments (340)
Read the Terms of Use


All the way from Nevis in the Caribbean. Proud of u, stand up for your rights freedom fighter.

Christine Cole

We are a country of immigrants. And we've made a promise to the refugees of this world:
"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!"

Amy Gennrich

Thank you so much! I'm so thankful for the ACLU right now!

Joshua Bare -- ...

Anthony, you're a phony and this post is misleading everyone who reads it.

The judge's decision is only temporary and can be appealed. You didn't stop anything.


No common sense h


What people have to understand is that no answer will be the right answer for everyone. Morally the ban was wrong for two reasons. They didn't stop the ban from countries like Saudi Arabia that was the country who even help cause the 9/11 tragedy and have many isis members. WHY because Mr. Trump has business deals with them. Second they are targeting innocent residents who have been probably monitored and have shown to not be crooked. I believe in making America safe before defending immigrants who are just getting here in the U.S but he could have done it way better and made it more clear that this isn't going to be a racist order. Gave these good Muslim people a heads up of the temporary ban and have been more reasonable.


I've been so frightened since President Trump took office and I am feeling more courage now I know we have the help of the ACLU to stand up to his discriminatory orders.

Conor Dunphy

I'm with this.


Give Amnesty to everybody to all what ever your religion or nationality pardon everybody and ask for some payment due it may help the economy to build a strong country one time will do


You are going down the wrong path.


Stay Informed