This Letter Is Why the ACLU Protects the Constitutional Rights of Everyone in This Country

Sometimes you’re reminded of why you do the work you do.

I received that reminder recently when a friend of mine passed a letter to me after we convinced a federal judge to block President Trump’s first Muslim ban. When I opened it and read it, I cried. But these were tears of joy, a humbling reminder that principled dissent works in this great country of ours.

In her letter, Z, a doctoral student, recounted how she flew into John F. Kennedy International Airport after President Trump issued his discriminatory travel ban. Since Z’s a citizen of Iran, one of the seven Muslim-majority countries originally singled out by President Trump, she was facing imminent deportation back to her country. But after hours of detention, she heard that a federal judge in Brooklyn issued a stay after the ACLU successfully challenged the executive action in court. She was allowed back into the country to continue her studies.

Z’s letter also reminded me that we have the easy job — to advocate for people whose rights are being denied. It’s the courage of individuals like Z — who persevere and are willing to fight back — that I and the entire ACLU find truly inspiring.

Here’s the letter reproduced in full. Thanks to Z for sharing. It made my day.
-- Anthony D. Romero

Dear Mr. Romero,

I cannot begin to thank you, and the ACLU, for your timely intervention that saved me from imminent removal and from being sent back to Iran.

I was stranded at JFK and about to be put back on a plane when the federal court ordered the stay, thanks to the tireless efforts of the ACLU. The ACLU’s diligence, preparation, and foresight saved many people from return.

Facing a stark choice between withdrawing my request to enter the U.S. or refusing to do so, and thus being removed and barred from reentry for five years, I was sure that either way I had lost the ability to ever return to my studies as a doctoral student.

Like many others, the aftermath of this event will negatively impact my future travels for my studies. I feel immense gratitude and respect for everyone involved at the ACLU, especially at a time when civil liberties are under threat from many different angles. Please accept my most heartfelt thanks and allow me to extend on behalf of many other international students our sincere appreciation of your hard work in maintaining the best values in American society.

I hope that all of us can repay our debt by upholding this spirit of compassion and dedication in the future.

With best regards,
Z.

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Anonymous

Pure garbage!!!

Publius

Anyone who believes that our nation should not allow immigrants into a nation built by them is inexperienced and has never seen through two eyes. Z's story is just one of many thousands that have one goal. Freedom.

Caesar

Women, men, and children come around the world to start over and continue on.

Caesar

"Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." This is what the Declaration of Independence states. And today our free nation is led by a millionaire who does not understand the middle class; politics; or government. If 7 dominant Muslim countries are not allowed to immigrate to the United States, why not all immigrants? What happens now? See, it makes no sense. Every one is against another. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "A house divided against itself will not stand."

Anonymous

The United States has been totally defeated in the "War On A Tactic" after 9/11. The tacticians goal is for a weak group to scare a bigger enemy into overreacting and destroying their own values.

We have been totally defeated on every front: Our predominantly Judeo-Christian nation has NOT "turned the other cheek", not forgiven their trespassers and not embraced the outcasts and least among us. We have forsaken the Founding Fathers constitutional "rule of law" model of government and embraced the communist model from the Cold War - we literally no longer have national security agencies but a "Stasi" or communist secret police turning on their own citizens.

Why isn't the Press and Media organizations informing the voters about America's greatest defeat? We rewarded the tactic of terrorism which creates an incentive for more!

Anonymous

Americans need to actually start using their brains. Even in this country, the citizens don't always agree with the actions of their government. Why would foreign citizens agree with their government's actions?

Most of these foreign citizens despise "theocracies" as a model of government and support American style religious freedom (which is the opposite of theocracy).

The cruel irony is that some (not most) Americans that support a "theocracy" instead of "religious freedom" then bash foreigners or anyone of a different religion seeking religious freedom. The immigrants and refugees actually support the American model of government more than the native Americans that hate them.

Anonymous

So happy it worked out for that young woman - she deserves it. We all do. That EO was a travesty and so is the new one.
The ACLU does real good - especially when things are real bad. I never realized how many people in my beautiful country were so full of hate and bigotry until this past year - and now we are so completely polarized. How is it that I never realized it before?! It is very sad and am not sure how we can fix it. Or can this be just the beginning of a very long, scary and depressing road for my children and grandchildren, and those beyond, to also travel now.

Anonymous

Foreigners, Refugeers, Illegal and ACLU, "Bunch of Cowart" Coming to the U.S.A. Freedom is not Free, go home, we don't want you here. If not we are going to WAR, IN 1-3 yrs from Now

Anonymous

Nigga im trump fuck mexicans!!!!

Anonymous

I really wish the media and the left, one and the same now, would be more honest. This is not a muslim ban. The EO is on entry from six countries out of roughly 50 muslim dominated countries. It has zero to do with muslims from the US. And, it is not a ban, it is a 90 day temporary suspension.

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