March 22, 2023

Castro, Lieu, Kim, and Houlahan Applaud End of State Department's Assignment Restrictions Policy

WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Ted W. Lieu (CA-36), Andy Kim (NJ-03) and Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06) released the following joint statement after Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the Department would end its assignment restrictions policy. In 2021, the members introduced the Accountability in Assignment Restrictions Act, which aimed to reform the practice of assignment restrictions at the State Department.

“As the co-leads of the Accountability in Assignment Restrictions Act, we would like to thank Secretary Blinken for ending this discriminatory policy. Simply put, assignment restrictions hurt our country’s diplomacy. By basing these restrictions on an employee’s heritage, birth country, or community connections, this policy implied that an employee’s race or religion is a potential national security risk. As members who have repeatedly championed diversity and inclusion at State, we know there is clear value in having a workforce with deep linguistic and cultural expertise. Beyond that, employees should not be discriminated against based on the false notion that their race or religion would inherently threaten their allegiance to the United States. We are pleased that Secretary Blinken has recognized this too. At a time where diplomatic tensions with nations like China and Russia are high, it is important that the State Department retain and promote talent with the skills to meet these challenges head-on.”