By Cassie Werber
Americans are pouring money into the protection of human rights after US president Donald Trump imposed a travel ban on refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries trying to enter the US.
The American Civil Liberties Union, a non-governmental organization that sued the administration over the ban, said people donated $24.2 million online to the organization over the weekend. That’s six times more than the group normally raises online in an entire year. Donations online normally total around $4 million a year. According to its 2015 annual report, the ACLU got total support of $136.7 million from grants, contributions, donated legal support and bequests that year.
Several celebrities and well-known investors helped boost donations by asking followers to give money, and by offering to match funds. Chris Sacca, founder of venture fund Lowercase Capital, and Fred Wilson, co-founder of venture firm Union Square Ventures, pledged to match chunks of money donated like-for-like. Other tech CEOs and investors matched them.
An ACLU spokesman gave CNN Money a one-word reaction on Sunday after all the donations had been added up: “Wow.”
The group and other human rights NGOs challenged the ban, announced Jan. 27, and on Sunday a federal judge issued an executive order temporarily preventing deportations. The detention of people sparked widespread protests at US airports as well as international condemnation.
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