A week after his inauguration on January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an executive order that banned refugees and citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering into the U.S. The order affected innocent people— many escaping violence in their countries of origin— from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen. The duration of the ban restricted admission of people from these countries for 90 days and placed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.
The Trump administration claimed that the ban was necessary to protect the country from terrorism. Several outlets have reported the ban was a part of his extreme vetting plan to weed out radical Islamic terrorism— a phrase he used in his inauguration speech. The reaction from activists was swift as thousands gathered at major airports in cities around the country to protest the President’s new policy.
At John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, crowds rallied against the detention of two Iraqis who assisted U.S. troops during the war. The Iraqi detainees were eventually released after lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) came to their defense.
In addition to the ACLU, several groups challenged whether or not the ban was constitutional or if violated the Fifth Amendment right to due process based on discriminatory profiling. On January 28, New York federal judge Ann M. Donnelly temporarily blocked part of the order, declaring it would cause “irreparable harm” in her ruling. In the following months, the Trump administration received another legal blow from a federal judge in Massachusetts and additional setbacks from judges in Washington state and California.
Trump dogged the judicial opposition on Twitter, and in March 2017 issued a new revised travel ban. It was again struck down by a federal judge in Hawaii and again by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Maryland. Despite the unpopularity of the travel ban, the Trump administration doubled down on their efforts to revise and reinstate the ban, and in December the Supreme Court voted 7-2 to uphold it.
What you can do:
The discriminatory ban against immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries is un-American, and goes against the very ideals professed in the Constitution.
If you believe in the supporting the rights of immigrants and refugees then support the work of the ACLU. Their organization is fighting to protect the most vulnerable communities across the country—particularly refugees and immigrants.
Join them in the fight by making a donation.
And then some:
After the announcement of first travel ban a year ago, several politicians, spoke out against the White House’s edict.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) took to Twitter to highlight the irrational idea of a travel ban to fight terrorism implemented against countries that haven’t committed an act of terror against America.
Similarly, following an incendiary tweet from Trump referring to protesters as "paid thugs," New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio (D) clapped back at the president by criticizing the ban and defending the protesters.