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

Anonymous

Nah.

Anonymous

Yes, we should all lock our doors and cower under the covers in fear because Trump sees terrorists behind every corner. There is a way to be more judicious in vetting immigrants who want to come in, but doing what he did is reckless and downright stupid. Trump did what he does best - cause chaos.

Anonymous

Wow. Really? That's your hope, you sick, twisted soul.

Steve

Listen to yourself. You hope a terrorist does major damage to America so that you can feel some sort of twisted vindication for Trump's un-American actions. Who are the patriots here in your mind?

Anonymous

Seriously?! just so you can be right in the oppression of constitutional rights?

Anonymous

Thank you! Don't sleep; Keep Vigilant

Anonymous

'The United States is a nation governed by the rule of law, and not the iron will of one man' -- the article [thank you]

Vincent Tasiaux

Glad to see a vast majority of the american people is waking up and is organizing against that proto-Hitler (Yay Godwin's law! and i don't care). Keep up the good fight. We can't stop until every dictator, every populist, every monster is stopped and the true power is returned to the people.

Anonymous

How can something that we never owned be returned?

Alastair Ojeda

Thank you for all your work!

Pages

Stay Informed