An Open Letter to a Concerned Citizenry
By Angie Zhang (Freedom Fighter)
*Written in collaboration with the Dwight-Englewood Civil Liberties Union
The Dwight-Englewood American Civil Liberties Union club is concerned with the constitutionality–or lack thereof– of Donald Trump’s recent executive order to suspend entry from several predominantly Muslim countries (Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) for ninety days starting January 27th, as well as the suspension of the Syrian Refugee program. Moreover, Trump has prioritized religiously persecuted refugees; in doing so, the United States government will prioritize accepting Middle Eastern Christians over their Muslim counterparts. This is unconstitutional. Under the Equal Rights Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, denying any person within the jurisdiction of the United States the equal protection of the laws is explicitly prohibited. Additionally, refugees and even green card holders are being detained at airports, which is unconstitutional under the Writ of Habeas Corpus, which grants that no person can be held in jail without being formally charged with a crime. The 4th Amendment to the United States Constitution also prohibits unlawful searches and seizures. Trump’s executive order violates basic human rights.
As a club that represents the ACLU, we are also deeply disturbed by President Trump’s disregard for the UN Convention Against Torture, which holds the United States responsible for providing asylum to refugees facing persecution. Trump has claimed that his order will help protect the country’s national safety; however, we believe this to be untrue. According to the CATO Institute, no refugees from the countries included in the executive order have killed anyone in a terror attack in the past 40 years on U.S. territory.
If you are as dismayed by the recent actions of President Trump as we, the D-E ACLU Club implores you to be an active and conscious citizen. The right to peacefully protest is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment, and such demonstrations have brought enormous change to our society over the past three centuries, from the Anti-Stamp Act Demonstrations of the 1760s to the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955. We also encourage you to call and write your local elected officials and legislators; their job depends upon your satisfaction, so do not be afraid express your dissatisfaction.
*Here's how author Angie Zhang suggests you can get involved: Support the ACLU