Illinois ACLU denounces Trump travel ban from Muslim nations

By John Dempsey, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO) The Illinois Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is blasting President Donald Trump’s executive order banning refugees and immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries. The implementation of the policy caused chaos at O’Hare airport in Chicago and at airports throughout the country over the weekend, as several people were detained and held for several hours.

ACLU Illinois spokesman Ed Yohnka told “The Big John and Ray Show” on WLS that the order, which was signed Friday afternoon, was not well thought-out. “The problem is not just that this is bad policy, but it was implemented in an incompetent and capricious way.”

Yohnka says the order is illegal, partly because Trump sought to give preference to Christians from Muslim nations, instead of Muslims from those countries. “We don’t have religious tests in this country. We don’t favor one religion over another. When the President not only issues an order but then says ‘Well, we ought to give Christians preference’ because in his mind they’re being persecuted. That doesn’t work when at the same time there are Muslims and other religions who are the victims of violence and bombings and torture and other things as well.”

President Trump tweeted Monday morning that only 109 out of 325,000 travelers “were detained and held for questioning” following his executive order. Trump said searching for terrorists before they can enter the U.S. “was a big part of my campaign.” He says,”Study the world!”

Meanwhile Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich is calling President Donald Trump’s immigration order “a dark moment in U.S. history.” Cupich said Sunday that the president’s sweeping executive order that includes temporarily barring the citizens of seven majority Muslim nations from entering the United States “is contrary to both Catholic and American values.”

The Catholic leader calls the order a break with the nation’s long history of welcoming refugees because it aims to turn away refugees, particularly Muslims, fleeing violence, oppression and persecution. Cupich says the order will only serve to give “aid and comfort to those who would destroy our way of life.” He says, “The world is watching as we abandon our commitments to American values.”

(The Associated Press contributed to this story)