It seems that Donald Trump’s Muslim ban is backfiring, as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reveals that the executive order is in breach of the First Amendment.
The ACLU has taken a strong stance against Mr Trump on more than just his immigration laws. It has also found constitutional flaws in his anti-abortion order, the implementation of torture and new laws that restrict the right to freedom of expression.
ACLU Director Anthony Romero wrote:
“In a misguided effort to prevent foreign attacks on the United States, Trump has proposed temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country and reintroducing torture. But once again the Bill of Rights constrains him. While the President does in fact have a lot of authority in immigration matters, the office can’t violate the First Amendment by unfairly singling out an entire group of people, based on their religion, for collective punishment.”
An open letter appeared in the New York Times late last year, threatening legal action should Mr Trump implement his Muslim ban.
Today we published a full-page open letter in the New York Times to President-elect Trump pic.twitter.com/FOpRqn9oNY
— ACLU National (@ACLU) November 11, 2016
Once the President signed his executive order on Friday, the ACLU quickly instigated proceedings. Since Saturday, the union has raised over US$24 million and added to its ranks over 15,000 members.
On Saturday night, Donald Trump suffered his first defeat, after a New York federal judge granted a stay on Trump’s executive order.
“President Trump now has learned that we are a democratic republic where the powers of government are not dictatorial. They are limited. The courts are the bulwark of our democracy that protects individual rights and guards against the overreaching of an administration that confuses its will for the American public’s,” wrote Mr Romero.
In an ironic twist, Mr Trump is funding the fight against his core policies, as he has provided funding for the ACLU for the next four years.
The ACLU is relishing its victory, but has vowed to continue its fight against Mr Trump, stating:
“This is merely the first skirmish in a long battle to vigorously defend the Bill of Rights from the authoritarian designs of the Trump administration. Savour this victory tonight, but prepare to fight on.”
Mr Trump’s temporary immigration ban could affect over 110,000 Australians, who were born in one of the seven countries on the President’s blacklist, as well as thousands more who could be ‘red-flagged’ for travelling to Iran, Iraq, Syria or Sudan since March 2011.
Despite strong criticism from world leaders who oppose the ban, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull refuses to comment, insisting that it’s “not his job” to do so.
Read more at aclu.org
What do you think of Donald Trump’s immigration ban? Do you think it will stand? Have you travelled to any of the blacklisted countries? Do you think the ban is a breach of rights?