The ACLU is determined to take down President Donald Trump’s ‘unconstitutional policies.’ After Trump’s refugee ban, Jan. 27, the ACLU took major action by filing a lawsuit against the executive order. But, everyone wants to know, what exactly is the ACLU? Here’s everything you should know…
President Donald Trump, 70, is delivering on those frightening promises he made during his campaign, leading up to his election victory, Nov. 8, 2016. One of them being his “extreme vetting” of travelers to the U.S. from seven predominantly Muslim nations — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and Libya. With massive protests against the ban breaking out all over the world, the American Civil Liberties Union has put their organization at the front of the line to fight against Trump. Here’s everything you need to know about the ACLU.
1. What is the ACLU?
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonpartisan [not biased, especially toward any political group], non-profit organization that works to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States,” via their official website. With over an estimated 750,000 members, the ACLU represents individuals and organizations in lawsuits when they consider their civil liberties to be in jeopardy. The organization has active subsidiaries in all 50 states and in Puerto Rico.
Some of their current stances include: supporting birth control and abortion rights; eliminating discrimination against women, minorities, and LGBT individuals; opposing the death penalty; supporting same-sex marriage and the right of gays to adopt; supporting the rights of prisoners and opposing torture; and opposing government preference for religion over non-religion, or for particular faiths over others.
2. Why is the ACLU fighting Trump?
President Trump took action Jan. 27, to keep the U.S. “safer,” by putting new measures into motion to prevent terror attacks. He did this by signing an executive order that suspended refugee resettlement for 120 days, and banned the entry of individuals into the U.S. from predominantly Muslim countries — Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days.
Before President Trump’s election victory, the ACLU vowed to take him to court if he tried to implement his “unconstitutional and un-American policies,” and when he took action, so did they.
3. What is the ACLU doing to take on Trump?
The organization fulfilled their promise to fight Trump on Jan. 28, when they took him to court, and won. After he signed the executive order, the ACLU took immediate action.
The organization filed a lawsuit and challenged Trump’s executive order as violating the Due Process [fair treatment within the judicial system] and Equal Protection Clauses of the U.S. Constitution [part of the 14th Amendment in which no state shall deny to any person within its jurisdiction “the equal protection of the laws”], via the ACLU. The organization acted quickly, and immediately locked down a hearing. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Iraqi men who were traveling to the U.S. on immigrant visas when President Trump issued the executive order. They were detained by police at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, along with many more travelers.
After arguing their case, Federal District Court Judge Ann M. Donnelly issued an emergency stay [meaning the individuals detained were able to legally enter the U.S.], which blocked President Trump’s policy from taking effect and prevented refugees and immigrants from being deported. The stay was for citizens [of the affected countries] who had already arrived in the U.S. and for those who were already traveling to the U.S. with valid visas.
The ACLU said the judge did not rule on the constitutionality of the order, however the individuals who would have been deported are safe, for now.
4. What will happen next?
Now, the ACLU is prepared to “fight on.” In fact, over the Jan. 28 weekend, they reportedly received more than $24 million in online donations after suing over President Trump’s executive order. As for the other people detained at JFK airport, the ACLU’s lawyers “will continue litigating the rest of the people impacted” by the order, the organizations national political director Faiz Shakir told Yahoo, Jan. 28.
On Jan. 30, the ACLU will take further action against Trump by holding a “Stand Against The Muslim and Refugee Bans” emergency planning call at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST. The organization will educate attendees on “what the executive orders are, why they’re unconstitutional and illegal, and how you can push your Senators to restore justice and answer your questions.” You must RSVP to join. Check out the flyer, and get more information, below.
TONIGHT: Learn how to push your elected officials to fight ban against President Trump's #MuslimBan.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) January 30, 2017
5. How can I get involved?
Aside from peacefully protesting in a city near you, the ACLU has multiple sections on their website dedicated to getting involved with their organization. Right on their website, you can make a donation or become a monthly donor, and you can join the ACLU and become a “freedom fighter.” If you join the ACLU you’ll be part of “protecting free speech and the right to protest, fighting relentless attacks on reproductive freedom, and pushing for reforms to a racially-biased criminal justice system,” per the ACLU enrollment page.
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