The American Civil Liberties Union has announced that since Election Day it has received the greatest outpouring of support in its nearly one-hundred-year history — including after the September 11 attacks.
In the five days after the election, the ACLU heard from thousands of individuals offering to volunteer their time and services and received 120,000 donations totaling more than $7.2 million; saw a 25 percent increase in its Facebook followers, to nearly one million; posted an open letter to President-elect Trump on its website that was viewed more than 400,000 times; and added 150,000 people to its e-mail list.
In a letter on the ACLU website, Anthony D. Romero, the organization's executive director, said the organization would focus its attention initially on protecting the rights of protestors and ensuring that those who voice their concerns about the incoming administration know their rights. The organization also is analyzing the civil liberties records of potential high-ranking federal appointees, and in the coming weeks and months will focus its legal and advocacy strength on protecting "Dreamers" — undocumented immigrants who were children when they arrived in the country and who received presidential deferred action protection; resisting any attempt to create a deportation force; obstructing any effort to defund Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health service providers or deny women their reproductive rights; preserving civil rights protections for transgender Americans; preventing "stop-and-frisk" policies from being adopted nationwide; and opposing any ban levied against Muslims for entry into the United States or discrimination against Muslims in the U.S.
"As other civil liberties' challenges arise, we will pivot — as we always have," said Romero. "Working in partnership with other organizations, the ACLU will do all its best to ensure that the rights and freedoms guaranteed by our founding documents are defended. Since our founding, we have held every president accountable, fighting for the rights of all Americans in courtrooms, legislatures, and beyond. With eleven hundred staff across the country, an office in every state, and a growing base of support among the broader public, failure is not an option."