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. 

Add a comment (340)
Read the Terms of Use

Cathy U.

So proud to be a card-carrying member of the ACLU.

Karin L.

Thank you for your commitment to helping those in need. Especially today. You all jumped in when so many people were in need and feeling desperate and helpless. Thank you!

Anonymous

I hope a terrorist makes it through because of this and does MAJOR damage then will see who feels great. But odds are you'll blame it on Trump for NOT stopping them.

Anonymous

You are one sadistic mother... are you really going to stoop so low as to wish your fellow countrymen and women to be horrendously killed just try prove a nonexistent point?

Anonymous

WHY would anyone wish this on their fellow Americans? You don't want equality; you want inequality at the price of American lives. I'm sorry for the hate you must live with every day in your heart, for that is even worse than this comment. I hope you find peace one day.

Anonymous

Have you ever heard of Pearl Harbor? Who killed Americans? Now we are the best friend with Japan.
Alsour have we killed so many innocent women and children on other nations' soil?

Anonymous

This is one of the most cruel and petty things I've ever read. You hope someone injures or kills a large number of people so you can feel superior and smug? Seriously?

Marc

This is literally the most ignorant, unAmerican comment I've seen tonight. Shame.

Anonymous

You hope people get hurt?

It sounds like your moral values parallel Mr. Trump's. Nobody matters but him. If you disagree, its "criminal", "fake news", "rigged" or something similar. Of course, his knowledge (absent any research, investigation or evidence) are as infallible as our Lord - that's not a president, that's a king.

Have you taken the time to read any of the Executive Orders, including this one? I have. In addition to the discrimination and a number of other, this order defines punishment for those accused of a crime, not just those convicted. - So much for presumed innocence. I hope none of your loved ones ever suffer for the error of a third-party (see, you don't have to wish harm on those who disagree with you).

It's amazing how many people forget the Pledge they said every day in school.. Does "with liberty and justice for all" ring a bell? Perhaps we should consider summary execution, without trial, for those who disagree?

Anonymous

Why would you hope that?

Pages

Sign Up for Breaking News