The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) promised it would watch Trump’s assaults on civil liberties like a hawk – and they just made good on it.
In a swift announcement, the civil rights organization filed a lawsuit on behalf of two men who are currently, shamefully stuck at a New York airport for the simple misfortune of traveling on the day Trump secretly signed a ban on Muslims traveling from certain countries from entering the United States. Trump’s executive order was not vetted by anyone. Wasn’t announced ahead of time. And signed on Friday night, when most lawmakers and reporters had already gone home for the weekend.
Now it’s created chaos, because nobody – not even the White House – seems to have any idea what any of it means or how it’s supposed to be enforced. The suffering from ordinary people is already immense. It’s been less than 24 hours…
Offical: If the person landed after the order was signed, that person would be detained & put on a flight to their country of citizenship https://t.co/1Y9MRahvGK
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) January 28, 2017
A friend from Iran left the US on a business trip and now CAN'T come back. His family — wife & kids — are now by themselves in the US.
— André L. Souza (@andrelesouza) January 27, 2017
Confirmed: Iran's Asghar Farhadi won't be let into the US to attend Oscar's. He's nominated for best foreign language film…#MuslimBan
— Trita Parsi (@tparsi) January 28, 2017
Among the order’s first victims are Hameed Khalid Darweesh and Haider Sameer Abdulkhaleq, both from Iraq, who are languishing in Kennedy International Airport, unable to set foot beyond the gates.
The American Civil Liberties Union and other legal organizations today filed a lawsuit on behalf of individuals subject to President Trump’s Muslim ban. The lead plaintiffs have been detained by the U.S. government and threatened with deportation even though they have valid visas to enter the United States. One plaintiff, for example, worked for the U.S. military and his life was in danger in his home country due to that relationship. The other’s family was also threatened because of perceived ties to the United States.
The ACLU is filing an injunction to suspend the damaging new policy.
And sadly, a lawsuit may be the only way to stop this travesty. Republicans in Congress – many of whom spoke out against a Muslim ban during the campaign – are now dead silent. Paul Ryan, in a particularly impressive display of jellyspine, actually rushed to a microphone to endorse Trump’s plan. Just a few months ago, he was calling it unAmerican. Cowards, the whole lot of them.
So it’s up to people like the ACLU and protesters – already gathering outside of JFK Airport – to fight this battle.
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) January 28, 2017
If you’re interested in helping out, you can donate to the ACLU here.
UPDATE: One of the two men has reportedly finally been released.
One of the refugees, Hameed Khalid Darweesh, has been released pic.twitter.com/U1XHr4DaTt
— Rep. Nydia Velazquez (@NydiaVelazquez) January 28, 2017
However… the number detained in JFK has actually ballooned in the meantime.
CNN reporting that the number of people detained at JFK has risen to a dozen
— Spencer Woodman (@spencerwoodman) January 28, 2017
The fight continues.
Featured image via Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images