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How Trump Is Threatening the Constitution

Trump Side
Trump Side
Andre Segura,
Legal Director,
ACLU of Texas
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July 5, 2017

This piece originally appeared on The Houston Chronicle.

A year ago, as the Republican Party was preparing to head to its convention in Cleveland to officially nominate Donald Trump for president, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) issued an analysis of Trump’s policy proposals.

That analysis, “Donald Trump: A One-Man Constitutional Crisis,” concluded that his proposals to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, ban Muslims from entering the country, surveil American Muslims and their houses of worship, revise libel laws and bring back the Bush-era torture program would blatantly violate the Constitution.

It was a terrifying report. Still, many thought that this country – whose ideals have inspired people from all over the world to come here and become Americans, united not by ethnicity, language religion or culture, but by the ideas and ideals laid out in our Constitution – wouldn’t elect a man whose proposals were seemingly so in conflict with it.

But we did.

And the election of a man who is openly hostile to minorities, immigrants and particularly to individuals of Latino descent has struck me, the son of Colombian immigrants, in a personal way.

I worry that my parents will be accosted at the grocery store for speaking Spanish. I worry that my two boys will be told by classmates to “go back where they came from” because their skin is brown.

As Trump’s political rhetoric turns into policy, our fundamental American values are being put to their greatest test.

Thankfully, our system of checks and balances is serving to curtail many of the administration’s efforts to run roughshod over our constitutional freedoms. Courts throughout the country have ruled against several of the Trump administration’s most blatantly unconstitutional efforts – to defund cities that have chosen to limit participation in federal immigration enforcement and ban people from six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the country.

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