Money

The ACLU Raised More Than $24 Million Over the Weekend

The nonprofit raked in six times the amount of money it usually gets in one year from online donations after challenging Trump's travel ban in court.
January 30, 2017, 4:42pm
Photo via Flickr user Tim Evanson

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which usually gets just $4 million in online donations every year, received more than $24 million this weekend alone, the Washington Post reports.

The flood of online donations, from 356,306 people, follows Trump's first few days in office and the many controversial executive orders he signed. On Friday, Trump capped off the week by signing an executive order that places a ban on incoming refugees and one on people traveling to the US from seven different countries with large Muslim populations.

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On Friday, the ACLU responded to the executive order by filing a lawsuit that asked a federal judge to block deportations of people who had been detained over the weekend. Judge Ann Donnelly of the US District Court in Brooklyn granted the request Saturday night.

"I've never seen anything like this," ACLU executive director Anthony Romero told Yahoo News Sunday. By then, the group had already raised $10 million. "People are fired up and want to be engaged. What we've seen is an unprecedented public reaction to the challenges of the Trump administration."

According to CNN Money, many of the hundreds of thousands of donations came from people who had never given money to the group in the past. Several celebrities, like Sarah Paulson, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and Sia, also called on people to donate to the civil liberties group and some pledged to match figures up to a certain amount. Ride share company Lyft also said it'd give $1 million to the organization over the course of four years, making the announcement in an email to its customers.

In addition to the record number of donations, Romero told Yahoo that the ACLU saw a spike in memberships from 400,000 to 1 million after the November election. He also stated that he wouldn't be surprised if the case reached the Supreme Court.

"Our nation is a nation of immigrants. We have welcomed refugees to our shores," Romero said on CNN's Fareed Zakaria GPS Sunday. "Refugees in particular are among the most vulnerable individuals, and the idea that we would try to shut them out because of the fear-mongering, the xenophobia that President Trump has now engaged in, we find very troubling."