Updated 2/9/17 to reflect the BIG WIN in the 9th Circuit Court.
So we won our first battle against the Trump administration. Thousands of people flocked to airports across the country in a spontaneous response to the news that people from 7 Muslim-majority countries were being denied entrance to the United States.
Some were refugees, fleeing the terror that we all fear. Some were legal permanent residents, who had lived here for years or decades. Folks with jobs and mortgages and kids waiting for them at home. Some were children. The five year old denied access to her mother. Two US citizens. One was an infant and the other a toddler.
The ACLU were the first big heroes here. They got a temporary injunction against the deportations. Then more lawsuits followed. The 9th Circuit Court heard a case taken up by Washington State, and unanimously decided to stop the deportations. Trump has promised to take it to the Supreme Court.
There are battles ahead. But for many individuals and families, the chaos continues. .
Many folks ended up being deported. One was a young doctor who had just landed her dream job in Cleveland. She was told that she could either leave the country voluntarily, and relinquish her visa, or be removed involuntarily and be banned from entering the US for 5 years. She relinquished her visa, and left the
Read March by John Lewis.
The history of the civil rights movement, in a graphic novel. Great for adults. Great for kids.
country before the injunction. At least two Christian refugee families were sent back to Syria when given the same option. And lots of other human beings, whose stories we will never know. And the order states that they may not be deported. But many of them continue to be detained.
Please remember. This is a TEMPORARY injunction. It will go to the Supreme Court. Welcome to your new job, Mr. Sessions. Trump’s lawyers are going to try hard to win. If it gets to the Supreme Court before a new judge is seated, and it ends in a tie, the lower court order stands. Really good reason to push against putting anyone in that seat.
Of course, Trump could issue other executive orders or memoranda while the case is pending. And this is just one issue.
The Republicans didn’t like Obama’s executive orders. But Trump is churning out his Executive orders at a record pace. The good new is, he does things “his own way.” That means most of them are being thrown together the night before he signs them, without the usual legal scrutiny, or even the input from the agencies charged with implementing his orders. They are sloppy and flawed, and many of them will be easily challenged.
But he is going to get better at this.
The airport mobilizations were amazing. The wildly successful women’s march took months to plan. The airport events took hours. And the legal response was superlative. But even the ACLU lawyers said they were surprised a federal judge agreed to hear them on a Saturday night. So there was a little luck involved too. And then Sunday, more marches all over the nation.
There are going to be a lot of battles. We are going to win some, and we are going to lose some.
But you know what makes me nervous?
Remember that first day, when Trump rode the golden elevator and announced his candidacy and called Mexicans rapists? People were outraged. TV stations and chefs and condos and beer companies and foreign governments immediately took drastic actions to distance themselves from Trump the man and Trump the name.
And then he kept going. He called for a Muslim ban. He insulted a Gold Star family. He said he preferred soldiers who weren’t captured. He told African Americans that their lives were so miserable that they had nothing to lose by voting for him. We listened to tapes of him bragging about how he sexually assaulted women. And he lied over and over again. He quoted false statistics. He denied saying things that he had said the day before with cameras rolling.
And we kind of got numb.
Sure, we felt a bit outraged each time. But the lies and the bullying became normal. Became expected.
We have responded head on to his first frenzied week of presidency. But as the attacks continue, attacks on the environment, attacks on reproductive freedom, attacks on healthcare and refugees and green card holders and Muslims and all of the attacks to come, we might start to burn out. We might start to be less outraged. We might even stop paying attention.
Our nation is a much more dangerous place today than it was in the middle of Trump’s first week as president. We have become the adversary that ISIS always wanted us to be. They wanted to claim that the US was at war with Islam. And now they can say it. We are more vulnerable now than ever before. There may well be attacks on US soil as a result. And the response to the attacks will be restrictions on our civil liberties.
So let’s celebrate this first victory. But let’s remain vigilant. Let’s try and prepare ourselves for the long run. For the unexpected. For the losses. For the monotony of outrageous acts, one after another. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
And there is a long, long way to go.