The opposition to Donald Trump’s recent ban of refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries grew even bigger on Monday, with hundreds of State Department officials joining forces to express their opposition to the unpopular new president’s order.
“A policy which closes our doors to over 200 million legitimate travelers in the hopes of preventing a small number of travelers who intend to harm Americans from using the visa system to enter the United States will not achieve its aim of making our country safer,” the memo said, according to the leaked draft of it. “Moreover, such a policy runs counter to core American values of nondiscrimination, fair play and extending a warm welcome to foreign visitors and immigrants.”
While it’s not unusual for letters of dissent to be sent to Statement Department management, the Guardian reports that this one is unprecedented – and it’s happening just 10 days into a new administration.
From the report:
The state department management usually receives four to five dissent channel memos a year, but they are usually confidential and rarely have more than one author. By mid-afternoon on Monday, Foreign Policy was reporting more than 200 had signed it, and sources close to the state department said the number was climbing rapidly, which would make it unprecedented in scale.
The letter is being transmitted through the State Department’s dissent channel, which allows officials to express their opposition to policies being pursued by their own administration. Those signing the memo are protected by laws and department rules, but that didn’t stop White House spokesman Sean Spicer from lashing out against them on Monday.
“These career bureaucrats have a problem with it?” Spicer told the press. “They should either get with the program or they can go.”
Instead of heeding the advice of State Department officials who understand the world in a way the White House clearly does not, they lash out at them for pointing out the new administration’s incompetence and the danger of Trump’s Muslim ban.
Donald Trump’s presidency isn’t just facing an incredible backlash from the outside; it’s already starting to crumble from within.