Top U.S. Diplomats Say Trump's Travel Ban Actually Doesn't Make America Safer in New Court Filing

February 6th 2017

Mike Rothschild

President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel from seven majority Muslim nations received another court challenge Monday. This time it was from a group of diplomats in a position to make use of their expertise by claiming that contrary to what the Trump administration has said, the ban actually doesn't make America safer. 

This legal challenge to the ban was filed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals by some of the most prominent names in U.S. foreign policy of the last decade, which includes: two former secretaries of state, John Kerry, Madeline Albright, former Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta, former National Security Advisor Susan Rice, and a number of other high-ranking CIA officials.

The court filing expresses the group's expert opinion that Trump's travel ban is "ill-conceived, poorly implemented, and ill-explained" with little in the way of vetting or justification.

In disrupting the entry of already-vetted refugees, international students, business travelers, and legal green card holders, the order "could do long-term damage to our national security and foreign policy interests, endangering U. S. troops in the field and disrupting counter-terrorism and national security partnerships," the diplomats say in the court document.

The brief goes into great detail about how Trump's order will put American troops and deep cover assets at risk, will feed recruitment of terrorist groups like ISIS by playing into their narrative, and interfere with humanitarian work and travel for tourism. They ultimately believe that the order will harm, rather than enhance, American national security and anti-terrorist efforts.

Trump's executive order was unveiled Jan. 27 to a government full of confused officials and law enforcement personnel who were given little guidance in how to implement it - resulting in a slew of lawsuits almost immediately.

One of these suits, filed in Washington by Iranian academics, resulted in a federal judge in the state to temporarily block enforcement of several of the order's provisions. Among these are the 90-day bans on entry from the seven countries, as well as the total ban on Syrian refugees entering the U.S.

The Trump administration is appealing the ruling, and the 9th Circuit declined to issue an immediate ruling on Sunday morning, opening the case up to briefs on both sides of the issue.