Lovers of civil liberties are rewarding the American Civil Liberties Union.
Since Saturday, the ACLU has received 356,000 donations totaling $24 million, according to a spokesman for its local affiliate, the NYCLU. Donations to the local — which has been busy coordinating dozens of lawyers offering help to refugees detained at JFK — are also up, though it is too soon to tell by how much, said NYCLU communications officer Simon McCormack.
The ACLU — which filed a lawsuit opposing President Donald Trump’s executive order stopping Muslims from seven countries from entering the United States and which continues to offer free aid to immigrants detained at airports — “needs every nickel we’re getting! Our work has expanded exponentially,” NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman said in a Monday conference call.
“This is an administration determined to make good on every crazy, hateful promise” it made during the campaign to undermine civil rights, Lieberman said.
The outpouring of volunteers — some who spoke Arabic, Dari or Farsi — to help detainees was “one of the most spirit lifting” aspects of the chaos and confusion that occurred at JFK this weekend as Muslim travelers were stopped from completing their journeys, said NYCLU staff attorney Jordan Wells.
Trump issued an order Friday suspending resettlement of Syrian refugees indefinitely, suspending other refugee resettlement for 120 days, and banning the entry of nationals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen for 90 days, according to the NYCLU.
The ACLU, with organizations, filed a lawsuit opposing the order almost immediately. The groups won a temporary stay in Brooklyn federal court preventing deportations, but the constitutionality of the order has not yet been ruled on.
The public support given to the civil rights organization, said Lieberman is “a reflection of the importance of the ACLU fighting back against the tidal wave of attacks on the principles of our democracy.”