Diplomats said that Trump’s Muslim ban was unconstitutional and stood against U.S. values.
More than 800 U.S. diplomats have criticized Donald Trump’s travel ban on nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries, through the release of an internal dissent cable from the U.S. State Department on Tuesday.
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An official from the State Department said that more than 800 diplomats indicated that they would sign after drafts of the cable circulated which said Trump’s ban stood “in opposition to core American and constitutional values that we, as federal employees, took an oath to uphold,” adding that the ban would breed world anti-U.S. sentiment and punish those who came to the U.S. on humanitarian grounds.
The official confirmed that the cable was submitted to acting Secretary of State Tom Shannon through the department’s “dissent channel.” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said on Monday that those against Trump’s executive order should “get with the program or they can go,” arguing that “career bureaucrats” should respect the will of U.S. citizens and that ban “is about the safety of America.”
“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 cable read according to Reuters.
Established during the Vietnam War, dissent channel cables allow diplomats to express disagreement internally about U.S. policies. The recent cable is believed to be one of the most popularly supported statements of dissent in the department’s history, AFP reported.
On Friday, Trump signed an executive order that puts a 90-day ban on visitors from Iran, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the U.S. Trump also put a four-month ban on refugees entering the U.S., but made an exception for Christians fleeing conflict.
Trump’s ban has been widely condemned internationally, with the United Nations saying that it goes against international law. Three U.S. states have also started constitutional challenges against the executive order and crowds of people started to occupy airports after news spread of the first detainees under the order.
On Monday, Trump dismissed Acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she issued a letter saying she would not be defending the ban.