California Scholars for Academic Freedom

Letter demanding the Suspension of Presidential Executive Order on Immigrants

CALIFORNIA SCHOLARS FOR ACADEMIC FREEDOM

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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-executive-order/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@ucla.edu

Ahlam Muhtaseb, Professor of Communication Studies, CSU San Bernardino. amuhtase@csusb.edu

Lisa Rofel, Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz. lrofel@ucsd.edu

Vida Samiian, Professor of Linguistics, California State University Fresno. vidas@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.

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February 4, 2017 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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