Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was “relieved” from her position after openly opposing Donald Trump‘s recent executive order. Trump’s order issued a temporary ban on immigration from seven countries in the Middle East and North Africa. It also temporarily prevented refugees from entering the country, and indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from U.S. entry. On Monday, Yates led the Department of Justice to take a stand against the immigration ban. Hours later, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer publicly announced via Twitter that Sally Yates had been relieved.
Before her termination, Yates wrote a letter to the justice department’s lawyers, expressing her concerns about whether the ban was “lawful.” “On January 27, 2017, the President signed an executive order regarding immigrants and refugees from certain Muslim-majority countries,” she wrote in the letter. “The order has now been challenged in a number of jurisdictions. As the acting attorney general, it is my ultimate responsibility to determine the position of the Department of Justice in these actions.”
Yates’ concern—which is shared by many others—is that the ban isn’t legal. Many have questioned the constitutional validity of the ban, because they feel it discriminates against individuals based on their religion. “My responsibility is to ensure that the position of the Department of Justice is not only legally defensible, but is informed by our best view of what the law is after consideration of all the facts,” Yates said. “In addition, I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right. At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities, nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”
Yates’ move was significant for two reasons. First, it’s rare for the justice department to oppose an executive order. Second, as The New York Times notes, her statement emphasized the separation between the president’s administration and government agencies.
Dana Boente, the U.S. attorney for Virginia’s eastern district of Virginia, became the new acting attorney general as of 9 p.m. Monday.
Feeling motivated to act? There are tons of ways to make your voice heard. SELF’s resources on finding activist opportunities and getting involved in policy decisions are great places to start. And if you’re passionate about women’s access to reproductive health care in particular, you can also consider: donating to the Center for Reproductive Rights, volunteering for NARAL Pro-Choice America, donating to the Reproductive Health Access Project, or volunteering for Planned Parenthood.
Also: Trump Has Replaced The Director of Immigration Enforcement (from Newsy)
Source Article from http://www.self.com/story/sally-yates