Lawfare has obtained a draft of a letter from the State Department’s dissent channel that lays out the objections of many U.S. diplomats to Trump’s recent order. This section specifically addresses the duration of the ban:
— Nicholas Dawes (@NicDawes) January 30, 2017
That means that nationals from all of these countries could be prohibited from traveling here for as long as the order remains in effect. Depending on how long it takes the courts to settle the issue, the “temporary” ban might be in place for years before it is lifted in some cases, and perhaps much longer than that in others. That would be an extraordinary burden to impose on innocent people even if there were good reason for imposing it, but there isn’t one. The purpose in setting a “high, vague, and nebulous” standard for these governments to meet seems to be to make it as difficult as possible to lift the ban, which further suggests that there is no intention of lifting it.
The justification given for imposing this ban is to make America more secure, but it isn’t going to do that. It fuels anti-Americanism, aids the propaganda of adversaries, alienates people in the targeted countries and around the world, and mars our international reputation, and all in exchange for guarding against a threat that isn’t real. This ban is the product of threat inflation run amok. The damage done to relations with Iran and America’s image among Iranians is particularly worrisome when we remember that the administration is already overflowing with Iran hawks that want confrontation with Tehran. Barbara Slavin comments:
But the Trump administration’s actions do not punish the Iranian government; they hurt ordinary Iranians and provide grist for regime propaganda that has long portrayed the United States as the “Great Satan.” On Saturday, Saeed Kamali Dehghan, an Iranian-born journalist for the Guardian newspaper, tweeted: “Iranian leaders failed for 38 years to convince their people that the US is their ‘enemy.’ This visa ban may just do that job for them.”
Iran hawks have often claimed that their quarrel is with the regime and not with the people, but in this case the Trump administration has squarely targeted the latter in a clumsy swipe at the former.