Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: More than 200 Military Veterans Sign Letter Denouncing President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order
Press Release

RELEASE: More than 200 Military Veterans Sign Letter Denouncing President Trump’s Immigration Executive Order

Truman National Security Project veterans and refugee policy experts underscore immediate negative impacts on interpreters and refugee families.

Washington, D.C. — Coming off the heels of President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order barring refugees and others from seven predominantly Muslim countries entry into the United States, more than 200 military veterans released a letter today denouncing the president’s order.

The letter is signed by many of the Truman National Security Project members and veterans and a growing list of other Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard veterans. Addressed to President Trump, the letter urges him to honor America’s promise and rescind the order.

In a press call hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the Truman National Security Project, military veterans, former diplomats, and refugee policy experts discussed President Trump’s immigration order and its impacts on refugees and interpreters who serve on the front lines with American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Betsy Fisher, Policy Director of the International Refugee Assistance Project: “This executive order bars refugees fleeing terror, including those at risk because of their service to our country, from finding safe haven in the United States. The order is misguided, morally wrong, and will not make us safer.”

Shawn VanDiver, U.S. Navy veteran and Truman National Security Project Defense Council Member: “We drafted this letter containing more than 200 signatures of veterans across the nation because we believe in the promise of America. The Trump administration is working to trample that promise and the very principles upon which our nation was founded and which I served to protect for 12 years. Particularly when it comes to the promise we made to interpreters who fought alongside our men and women in uniform, this promise should be sacred and is to those of us who wore a uniform. They fought their own countrymen because they believed in the promise of America. Our country should welcome them with open arms. This order is unconstitutional, unfair, and un-American.”

Michael Breen, U.S. Army veteran and President and CEO of the Truman National Security Project: “This executive order is cruel and ineffective in its intent and was amateurish in its implementation. It will do nothing to keep us safe given our already incredibly thorough vetting process for refugees, but it does harm our allies in the fight against terrorism and directly benefit ISIL and the Taliban.”

Ziad Haider, former U.S. State Department official and Truman National Security Fellow: “President Trump’s executive order is the antithesis of making America great again. In addition to its cruel human consequence, it undermines our soft power by turning away those in dire need and our national security by providing a propaganda bonanza to ISIS and extremist groups while corroding our partnership with Muslim countries that are key to defeating them.”

For more information, please contact Beatriz Lopez at 202.413.2375 or [email protected]. The letter can be found here.