NOTE (added 1/30/17): Please use the comments option here to share (a) relevant links, (b) accounts of those affected, (c) relevant updates about events and activities planned, (d) ideas about what to do, and the like. Thank you.
At the time of this post, over 4,700 academics have signed a petition opposing Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration. You can read the text of the order, signed two days ago, here. An annotated version of some excerpts is available here. Last night, in response to a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a federal judge blocked the implementation of some parts of the order.
The stated purpose of Trump’s order is protect citizens of the United States from terrorism. The order includes a prohibition on entry into the United States, as immigrants and nonimmigrants, of aliens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. However, according to the Cato Institute, “Between 1975 and 2015, foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen killed exactly zero Americans on U.S. soil.” Additionally, as the Huffington Post reports, “none of the 19 plane hijackers on 9/11 were from any of those seven countries.” Further, “attacks by Muslims accounted for only one third of one percent of all murders in America last year.”
The order also indefinitely suspends the admission into the US of any refugees from Syria, and suspends the admission to the US of refugees from anywhere for 120 days. Upon resumption of refugee admissions, the order directs the relevant agencies to “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality,” which will have the effect of prioritizing Christian over Muslim refugees.
This is the “Muslim Ban” that Donald Trump campaigned on, and which even his fellow republicans—including Michael Pence, his vice president—-criticized. (As Rudolph Giuliani said in an interview yesterday: “When [Trump] first announced it he said ‘Muslim Ban.’ He called me up, he said ‘put a commission together, show me the right way to do it, legally.'”)
The ban is affecting people worldwide, including academics, in both personal and professional ways. (I will leave it to those individuals whose stories I’ve heard to share them here in the comments, if they so wish.)
There are questions now being raised about whether the locations of workshops and conferences, including the divisional meetings of the American Philosophical Association, should be moved to outside the United States.
I encourage readers to share information and thoughts related to the immigration order, and what should be done in regards to it, in the comments.
I also encourage readers to support or donate to those institutions and organizations of civil society (news organizations, advocacy groups) that have helped the United States strive towards realizing its founding ideals. Their work is now of the utmost importance.
UPDATE 2 (1/30/17): Arash Abizadeh, a political theorist at McGill who was born in Iran, cancels plans to attend workshop at the University of Chicago.
UPDATE 3 (1/30/17): The University of Michigan refuses to disclose students’ immigration information.
UPDATE 4 (1/31/17): “I study philosophy because I think it can help us to know how to keep ourselves, how to keep our commitments to democracy, how to help make the world great. I think it’s unfair for Iranian students to lose our dreams, our hope, and our admissions…” Shadi Heidarifar, a student admitted to NYU’s gradauate program in philosophy, who may not be able to enroll because of Trump’s executive order on the subject.