What’s being done to stop Trump’s refugee ban? It could be a long fight ahead
Over the weekend, airports across the country turned to chaos in response to the executive order President Trump signed Friday banning citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S. People flying into the country were immediately detained, and many groups flung into action to protest and take legal action against the directive. So, what’s being done to stop Trump’s refugee ban?
As massive protests broke out at most major airports Saturday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was working tirelessly to get the executive order temporarily blocked for being unconstitutional. A federal judge in New York granted a temporary stay Saturday night prohibiting anyone legally authorized to enter the U.S. from being deported. Judge Ann M. Donnelly ruled that enforcing the ban by sending the travelers home could cause them “irreparable harm,” The New York Times reports, and she was praised for having “a firm moral compass.” The decision was a huge victory, but it was just the beginning.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) plans to file a federal lawsuit Monday challenging Trump’s executive order on behalf of more than 20 people. “There is no evidence that refugees – the most thoroughly vetted of all people entering our nation – are a threat to national security,” said CAIR National Litigation Director Lena F. Masri. “This is an order that is based on bigotry, not reality.”
On Sunday, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer promised Democrats will introduce legislation to undo the Muslim ban, calling Trump’s hasty executive order “mean-spirited and un-American” in a news conference. ” Schumer said:
“Senate Democrats are gonna introduce legislation to overturn this and move it as quickly as we can. I, as your senator from New York, will claw, scrap and fight with every fiber of my being until these orders are overturned.”
A spokesperson for Schumer told Politico the legislation is being drafted. Senator Chris Murphy is reportedly preparing his own bill, with a spokesperson telling Politico his legislation would force Trump to obey current immigration laws that prohibit discrimination based on nationality or religion. (The fact that we need legislation to make the president abide by current laws is a problem in and of itself, but we don’t have time to get into that now.)
However, the fact remains that Congress is controlled by Republicans, so bills dismantling the refugee ban aren’t going to become law if the GOP doesn’t back them. As much of the country panicked about the order, Republican members of Congress were somewhat split, but there was a very long list that just remained completely silent on the issue.
If you want to join the resistance efforts, a good place to start is calling your representatives and encouraging them to fight the ban. You can find every member of Congress’ phone number in the online directory. There are also continuous protests planned across the nation, with one in Washington D.C. Monday night outside the Supreme Court.