The American Civil Liberties Union collected an astonishing $24 million in online donations over the weekend after it swooped in to federal court to win a stay against President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant executive order.
Besides banking the money, the organization also scooped up another 150,000 members, CNNMoney reported.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero told Yahoo News. “People are fired up and want to be engaged. What we’ve seen is an unprecedented public reaction to the challenges of the Trump administration.”
Some 356,000 donors contributed money over 48 hours, the ACLU told CNNMoney. The flood of cash broke all records for the civil liberties organization, which usually raises about $4 million a year from online donations, Romero told USA Today.
Trump’s executive order, which bans the entry of people from seven predominantly Muslim nations and suspends U.S. admission of refugees except under certain circumstances, went into effect Friday night. Several travelers from the targeted countries were suddenly trapped at airports, even if they were holding U.S. government-issued visas or green cards.
As protests erupted at airports across the nation on Saturday, the ACLU challenged Trump’s order in Brooklyn federal court, where judge Anne Donnelly issued a temporary stay against part of the order. She also ordered the Trump administration to stop deporting refugees and visitors whom immigration authorities had previously cleared to enter the country.
Judges in other cities made similar rulings — though the Trump administration is apparently continuing to defy the courts.
Celebrities helped boost the ACLU’s cause by vowing to match other donations to the tune of several thousand dollars. The singer Sia offered to match up to $100,000 in donations, and Rosie O’Donnell repeated that pledge. The founders of rideshare company Lyft also promised to donate $1 million to the ACLU over the next four years.
The ACLU vowed the day after the election to be “eternally vigilant” during Trump’s presidency. The group’s membership has doubled to 1 million people since Nov. 8.
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