News, Trump Administration

ACLU of NC sees outpouring of support in wake of Trump’s travel ban; attorneys ready to help those affected

The ACLU of North Carolina received an outpouring of support over the weekend, not just in new memberships and donations but also from folks who want to volunteer and get involved, according to communications director Mike Meno.

The support comes as the ACLU and other legal groups successfully challenged President Donald Trump’s travel ban on seven Muslim-majority nations.

The national ACLU reported that it received $24.1 million in donations over the weekend.

Meno said Monday afternoon that to the organization’s knowledge, no one had been detained at airports in North Carolina so far. He encouraged people to contact them if they have information about travelers affected by the ban who need help.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not return a request Monday asking if anyone was being held at airports in North Carolina.

There are three practicing ACLU attorneys on staff in the state, and Meno said they have been in contact with other attorneys across the state, as well as protest organizers at Raleigh-Durham International Airport and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

More than 1,000 people showed up Sunday at RDU Airport to protest Trump’s ban. About 50 protesters showed up at the Charlotte Airport — six were arrested.

“We are asking anyone with any information about refugees or foreign nationals with visas or green cards who have plans to travel to North Carolina or who have been detained to get in touch with the ACLU,” he said.

Anyone with information can call 919-834-3466 or email contact@acluofnc.org.

After refugees were detained at airports across the nation, the ACLU and other legal groups immediately challenged Trump’s ban on behalf of two Iraqi refugees who were detained in New York, including one who worked for the U.S. military and whose life was in danger due to his work.

That same night, a federal judge filed a nationwide injunction that will block the deportation of all people stranded in airports. The ACLU is arguing that Trump’s discriminatory order violates due process, equal protection, international law and immigration law, according to Meno.

“In this instance, U.S. courts worked as they should — as a defense against government abuse and unconstitutional policies,” he said in an email. “On week one, Donald Trump has already suffered his first loss in court.”

The ACLU is also preparing an Establishment Clause challenge because the Constitution bars the government from targeting a religion.

“American Muslims, immigrant and U.S.-born alike, are part of the fabric of this nation and part of what makes America great,” Meno said. “President Trump’s ban separates American families and is unconstitutional and immoral. We have no doubt that the motivation behind the executive order was discriminatory. This was a Muslim ban wrapped in a paper-thin national security rationale.”

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