In an unprecedented move, Donald Trump has asked that all of President Obama‘s foreign ambassadors leave their posts by Inauguration Day, according to The New York Times.
Trump’s transition team sent an order saying all ambassadors had to be out of their posts by Jan. 20 “without exceptions.” The order was delivered by a State Department cable sent just before Christmas. This could leave the United States without Senate-confirmed ambassadors around the world for weeks or months after Trump takes office.
Previous administrations have allowed exceptions and grace periods for ambassadors to get their affairs in order and make new living arrangements, especially for those with school-age children. Trump should understand this, considering his wife Melania is staying in New York City so their son Barron can complete the school year.
But our ambassadors won’t be as lucky.
In Costa Rica, Ambassador Stafford Fitzgerald Haney is hunting for a house or an apartment as his family—which includes four school-age children and his wife, who has been battling breast cancer—struggles to figure out how to avoid a move back to the United States with five months left in the school year, according to the diplomats.
In the Czech Republic, they said, Ambassador Andrew H. Schapiro is seeking housing in Prague as well as lobbying his children’s Chicago-based school to break with policy and accept them back midyear.
In Brussels and Geneva, Denise Bauer, the United States ambassador to Belgium, and Pamela Hamamoto, the permanent representative to the United Nations, are both trying to find a way to keep daughters from having to move just months before their high school graduation.