Trump’s executive order to essentially ban Muslims from certain countries from entering the US has caused a firestorm of opposition.
What’s going on?
Though it was announced earlier in the week, Trump signed an executive order on Friday to ban nationals from several Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, even if they had valid visas. This resulted in at least a hundred people being detained in US airports, their legal status uncertain.
As a result, protests sprang up across the country, mostly at airports. Included were JFK in New York, Newark Liberty International, Los Angeles International, Chicago O’Hare, Dulles in DC, and likely too many others to list.
The American Civil Liberties Union has been fighting this order in court, and an emergency stay was granted yesterday which forbids the US from expelling people with valid visas. This does not mean they have to be released, however.
Why is it important?
The fight is still ongoing, and so are the protests. This level of public pressure on a brand-new President is unprecedented, and while it may not be the case that the protests directly influenced the court decision to grant an emergency stay, it does signal that the Muslim ban is a deeply unpopular move and Americans are prepared to vocally resist it.
More broadly, it is important that public opinion continues to run against these xenophobic, bigoted actions. The Muslim ban is counter both to American law and our values. Trump cannot be definitively defeated until 2020, but in the meantime, he can be thwarted in large measure by substantial public opposition. Congress, too, is less likely to support actions which they may believe will cost them votes in 2018 and 2020.
What can I do?
Go out and protest! Help spread the word about the protests, and why the ban is wrong. Find out whether your Congressional representatives support it and contact them accordingly. Let them know your thoughts. Donate to the ACLU, which is committed to fighting these disgraceful actions.
In war, momentum goes a long way toward ensuring victory. At the moment we are facing a sort of political war, but momentum is just as valuable here, too. Defeating this measure will make Trump look inept and may cause him to second-guess his future actions. He must be beaten as often as possible, so that his hateful agenda cannot reshape America into the nightmare he and his supporters envision.
To read more about what’s going on with the Muslim ban, look here.