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Related Categories: California | Education & Student Activism | Immigrant Rights
For Immediate Release: Scholars' Response to Travel Ban
by California Scholars For Academic Freedom
Sunday Feb 5th, 2017 6:36 PM
We, California Scholars for Academic Freedom,** join thousands of colleagues
across the nation to express our outrage against the Executive Order signed by
Donald Trump establishing a 90-day suspension of visas and other immigration
benefits to nationals of seven countries with a majority Muslim population. These
countries are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia:
http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/27/politics/donald-trump-refugees-executiveorder/index.html.

We demand the immediate suspension of this executive order
because of its unconstitutionality and the serious impact it has on our academic
institutions and communities. This Executive Order is discriminatory as it targets a
large group of immigrants on the basis of their country of origin and religious
affiliation. This results in implementing racial and religious profiling in utter
violation of the fundamental values and principles of the U.S. Constitution and of
the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

As members of private and public universities in California, we recognize that the
implementation of this Executive Order is an attack on the academic freedom of
our students and faculty colleagues whose right to leave or enter the country to
pursue their studies and research will be curtailed. This measure not only violates
our academic commitment to diversity, it severely impacts our faculty’s ability to
do research, network, and attend conferences. It further forces our institutions to
discriminate against student and faculty applicants from these countries.

The implementation of this Executive Order has already created undue hardship,
disrupting the lives of many immigrants and their families in our communities. The
claim that this measure is intended to secure our borders from potential “terrorists”
is false and hypocritical. In addition, we need to point out that the executive order
is, in fact, not intended to keep out “radical Islamic terrorists,” as Donald Trump
claims, since the foreign-born individuals who have committed violent acts against
the US since September 11, 2001, have come from countries that are not on the list
of banned countries. Trump’s Executive Order is an ideological/ political/-
economic/discriminatory act that lacks the humanitarian spirit of our Constitution,
and will accomplish the opposite of protecting our country.

This Executive Order is a blow against ALL citizens’ rights to be protected from
the arbitrary and illegal actions of the State, because an attack against one is an
attack against all of us.

We join our academic colleagues across the U.S. (and the world) to demand that
this order be revoked immediately.

Contact Persons on Behalf of CS4AF:
Sondra Hale, Research Professor and Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles.
Sonhale [at] ucla.edu
Ahlam Muhtaseb, Professor of Communication Studies, CSU San Bernardino.
amuhtase [at] csusb.edu
Lisa Rofel, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz. lrofel [at] ucsd.edu
Vida Samiian, Professor of Linguistics, California State University Fresno. vidas [at] csufresno.edu

**CALIFORNIA SCHOLARS FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM (cs4af) is a
group of over 200 scholars who defend academic freedom, the right of shared
governance, and the First Amendment rights of faculty and students in the
academy and beyond. We recognize that violations of academic freedom anywhere
are threats to academic freedom everywhere. California Scholars for Academic
Freedom investigates legislative and administrative infringements on freedom of
speech and assembly, and it raises the consciousness of politicians, university
regents and administrators, faculty, students and the public at large through open
letters, press releases, petitions, statements, and articles.