US Diplomats Line Up to Oppose Trump’s Refugee Ban

“We are better than this ban.”

Andrew Harrer/CNP

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Numerous diplomats have drafted a memo of dissent denouncing President Donald Trump’s executive order banning the resettlement of refugees and barring travel from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The current draft of the memo, which was obtained by the Lawfare blog, describes Trump’s actions as “counterproductive” to its stated goal of protecting Americans from potential terrorist attacks. According to the memo, the order will instead exacerbate relations with the targeted countries.

The State Department confirmed the existence of the memo to Mother Jones on Monday.

“We are aware of a dissent channel message regarding the Executive Order titled ‘Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,'” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said when reached for comment. “The Dissent Channel is a long-standing official vehicle for State Department employees to convey alternative views and perspectives on policy issues. This is an important process that the acting secretary, and the department as a whole, value and respect. It allows State employees to express divergent policy views candidly and privately to senior leadership.”

The “dissent channel” was established in the 1970s for career diplomats to confidentially express opposition to the administration’s foreign policy.

“We are better than this ban,” the draft memo adds. “Looking beyond its effectiveness, this ban stands in opposition to the core American and constitutional values that we as federal employees took an oath to uphold.”

The draft memo can be read below:

 

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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