Immediately after Trump’s election, we put the president and his administration on notice: If they enacted unconstitutional and illegal policies, we would see them in court. We meant it. As of today, we’ve filed 400 legal actions against this administration. Our 400th filing was a class-action lawsuit that seeks to block the removal of children seeking asylum at the border.
In this centennial year of our founding, we remain steadfast. We at the ACLU believe that America — our basic values, system of checks and balances, our shared humanity — is worth fighting for. Today, we recommit to this fight, to create a world where “we the people” truly means all of us.
Throughout our 100-year history, we’ve held presidents of all parties accountable. As a nonpartisan organization, we don’t oppose candidates or officials, but we’ve spent a century protecting and expanding civil liberties and civil rights. So when Trump took the national stage, we were prepared. We issued a clarion call after the election, reminding then president-elect Trump and his colleagues that if they followed through on their discriminatory and hateful policies they touted, they would face the full firepower of the ACLU, our state affiliates, and our supporters.
Even before Trump took his oath of office, we began building legal strategies to respond to his most prominent campaign promises. As a result of our commitments, an outpouring of support from communities saw the ACLU’s budget and staff size more than double, increasing the number of its litigators by 45 percent. After Trump’s inauguration, the ACLU launched People Power, a nationwide grassroots organizing program to mobilize people across the country to expand and protect civil liberties and civil rights.
We’ve been busy. Among the 400 legal actions, we filed a challenge to the inclusion of a citizenship question in the 2020 census, which resulted in a loss for Trump at the Supreme Court. We filed litigation to end the separation of children from their asylum-seeking parents, a result of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policies toward people crossing the Southern border. We filed a series of legal actions to protect abortion access for unaccompanied minors in immigration detention. And we filed several lawsuits to stop the Trump administration’s attempts to dismantle our asylum system.
Throughout our 100-year history, we’ve evolved and adapted to the times. Our strength is powered by deep experience and expertise, and activated by our ability to be nimble and break down barriers wherever they arise.
We’ve always known that we can’t do this work alone. We are indebted to all of you who have taken action in your communities, from the streets of your towns and cities, to city council meetings and statehouses, to the ballot box. We’ve come this far because of you and your dedication to demand change. But we still have a long way to go. We can’t win this fight without you. Together, we will chart the next chapter and continue to build the nation that we are fighting for. The America not only conceived in liberty and justice for all, but one where those ideals are real for all of us: an America worth fighting for.