Veterans: Revised Executive Order Harms National Security

Communications Associate

March 6, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration released a new executive order today that bans travel from six Muslim-majority countries and freezes refugee resettlement. The revisions follow the Ninth Circuit’s decision Feb. 9 to block the initial executive order.

National security leaders have criticized a refugee freeze and travel ban that remain in the revised order. More than 100 such leaders signed a letter Jan. 30 urging Trump to reconsider a blanket ban on travelers from certain countries, calling it “counterproductive from a security standpoint, and beneath the dignity of our great nation.”

“Pragmatically, we should recognize the benefits of taking in these refugees. The vast majority are risk-taking, determined, creative thinkers who will over time give us a high return on investment,” wrote Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander of NATO, regarding the original executive order.

The following are quotes from Veterans for New Americans partners around the country. Veterans for New Americans, a project of the National Immigration Forum, is a national network of influential veterans representing each of the military branches who support a bipartisan solution on immigration that strengthens our national security, enhances our military readiness and supports our immigrant service members, their spouses and immediate family both at home and abroad.

Major General Antonio Taguba, USA (Ret.):
“While I believe in adopting the most stringent screening measures, we must not compromise our immigrant heritage by turning our backs on refugees and allies who are helping us fight the war on terrorism. America’s national security has always been strengthened with immigrants willing to fight to defend this country. In the true spirit of our American values, we must not compromise our immigrant heritage to help refugees and allies who are helping us fight the war on terrorism.”

Lt. Col. Carter Crewe, USAF (Ret.):
“This revised executive order does not support our people, our economy and our national reputation worldwide. It shows to all that our basic American values are being denied by this administration.”

Capt. Graciela Tiscareño-Sato, USAF veteran:
“Our national security and military strength rely solely on our all-volunteer force. Some of the most patriotic men and women in uniform are sons and daughters of refugees. When refugees and their children choose to serve in our armed forces, their language and cultural-competency skills become immediately invaluable assets that enhance our military readiness. These diverse skill sets found in our service members born outside our national borders enable us to exert influence globally and effectively. This executive order will simply handicap our armed forces in the future, if it causes us to lose this inflow of necessary multicultural talent.”

Nathan Fletcher, USMC combat veteran (Operation Iraqi Freedom, Global War on terror):
“If the Trump administration wants to single out Muslims from a group of countries, I suggest they start by creating a public registry of the Muslim Americans, many who are immigrants, who gave their lives fighting alongside the rest of us. These brave patriots gave their life for a country that recognizes and applauds who you are as a person and not your country of birth or religion. This new executive action is inconsistent with who we are a people, what those of us who served fought for, and the dream of America as a welcoming land of equality and opportunity.”