ACLU on Immigration

American Civil Liberties Union


Opposed requiring local police to enforce immigration laws

SB1156: Policies prohibited that restrict enforcement of federal immigration laws.

Opinion by ACLU 5/22/19: ACLU-VA opposes SB1156, the so-called anti-sanctuary bill, because it is unnecessary legislation that will make our streets less safe. A combination of the Dillon Rule and existing state mandates make the existence of a sanctuary locality a legal impossibility in the Commonwealth.

Veto message from Gov.Northam: This bill would send a clear message to people across this Commonwealth that law enforcement officials are to be feared and avoided rather than trusted and engaged. The safety of our communities requires that all people, whether they are documented or not, feel comfortable reporting criminal activity and cooperating with local law enforcement investigations.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 51-47-1 on Feb/19/19; Passed Senate 21-19-0 on Jan/17/19; Vetoed by Gov. Northam on Mar/19/19.

Source: ACLU voting recommendation on˙Virginia voting record SB1156 , May 22, 2019

No national emergency for a border wall

The ACLU issued the following statement upon filing a lawsuit: "By the president's very own admission in the Rose Garden, there is no national emergency. He just grew impatient and frustrated with Congress, and decided to move along his promise for a border wall 'faster.' This is a patently illegal power grab that hurts American communities and flouts the checks and balances that are hallmarks of our democracy."

The ACLU will argue that President Trump's use of emergency powers to evade Congressional funding restrictions is unprecedented and that 10 U.S.C.  2808, the emergency power that Trump has invoked, cannot be used to build a border wall. Congress restricted the use of that power to military construction projects, like overseas military airfields in wartime, that "are necessary to support" the emergency use of armed forces.

Source: ACLU "Proclamation 9844" voting recommendation , Feb 15, 2019

Birthright citizenship is protected by the 14th amendment

Trump is planning on issuing an executive order that would revoke birthright citizenship. An historian explained that guaranteeing automatic citizenship was the intention of the men who drafted the 14th amendment: "Read the debate in the US Senate, Jan. 30, 1866. The framers clarified that children born in the U.S. were citizens regardless of the immigration status of their parents. They even understood this to be true for children whose parents would then have been racially ineligible for citizenship, such as the Chinese."

The ACLU has spoken out against Trump's proposed executive order. "The president cannot erase the Constitution with an executive order, and the 14th Amendment's citizenship guarantee is clear," the director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project said in a statement. "This is a transparent and blatantly unconstitutional attempt to sow division and fan the flames of anti-immigrant hatred in the days ahead of the midterms."

Source: Salon.com on 2018 Trump Administration, "Birthright" , Oct 30, 2018

Muslim ban cannot be reworked to be constitutional

On the Muslim ban: [The Trump administration's original January 2017 executive order reduces to 50,000 the annual number of refugees allowed from 7 Muslim countries, and zero from Syria. The March 2017 order replaced the list of 7 countries with Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, & Yemen, for 90 days]. The director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project had this reaction:

"The Trump administration has conceded that its original Muslim ban was indefensible. Unfortunately, it has replaced it with a scaled-back version that shares the same fatal flaws. The only way to actually fix the Muslim ban is not to have a Muslim ban. Instead, Pres. Trump has recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued disapproval from both the courts and the people. The changes the Trump administration has made completely undermine the bogus national security justifications the president has tried to hide behind. and only strengthen the case against his unconstitutional executive orders."

Source: ACLU 2017 voting records of Trump Administration , Mar 6, 2017

No-Fly list against Muslims is unconstitutional

Muslim communities in the U.S. have faced a disturbing wave of bigotry and outright hostility, including vicious rhetoric from presidential candidates. Some of the issues we've specifically focused on include:
Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on Muslim Ban , Nov 14, 2014

Let DREAMers join military, whether legal or not

The DREAM Act promotes fundamental fairness for young people by allowing access to affordable post-secondary education and military service opportunities, regardless of immigration status, and would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, have lived here for at least five years and have graduated from high school.

The US has dropped from first in the world in our number of college graduates to ninth, which has had a dramatic impact on our country's economy. The DREAM Act could result in billions of dollars in additional tax revenue from tapping the potential of DREAM-eligible students and future service personnel.

Since September 11, 2001, more than 69,000 immigrants have earned citizenship while serving, and more than 125 who entered military service after that date have made the ultimate sacrifice in war by giving their lives for this nation.

Source: ACLU 2015-16 voting recommendation on DREAMers , Jun 28, 2011

Other pundits on Immigration: ACLU on other issues:

Opinion Leaders on the Right:
Cato Institute
Milton Friedman (Nobel Economist)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio Talk Show Host)
Ayn Rand (Author and Philosopher)
Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)
Libertarian Party
Republican Party
Ronald Reagan(President,1981-1989)
Joe Scarborough (Former Congressman; Radio Host)

Opinion Leaders on the Left:
American Civil Liberties Union
Democratic Party
Noam Chomsky (Author and Philosopher)
Green Party
Arianna Huffington (Internet Columnist)
Robert Reich (Professor and Columnist)
Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks)
John F. Kennedy(President,1961-1963)
Sierra Club
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Social Security
Tax Reform

Page last updated: Apr 29, 2021