ACAS Statement on Presidential Executive Order No. 13769
The Association of Concerned Africa Scholars (ACAS) registers its outrage and its opposition to the Presidential Executive Order, “Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States,” issued by Donald Trump on January 27, 2017, which has cut off legal immigration and travel to the United States from three African nations: Sudan, Somalia and Libya as well as from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. This ban directly affects refugees from Somalia, Libya, Iraq, and Syria where the U.S. military actions contribute to the exodus of thousands of refugees. Ironically, this ban is directed toward refugees in a continent whose nations have opened their borders to refugees and people fleeing violence while the U.S. is closing boundaries and building walls.
This ban is an ill-advised, religiously-based attack on the rights of people from these majority Muslim nations. This unwise action will not make the U.S. safe, is in opposition to American values, and will fuel anti-American sentiment in Africa and around the world. This scatter-shot action is a threat to all refugees, to the global system of protection for refugees and other displaced people, and to the future of human rights and of U.S. democracy. In addition, this EO violates the Geneva Convention on Refugees which obliges all member states to take in those fleeing war.
In stating that he plans to favor Christian refugees, the President makes clear that this is a religion-based discrimination. Such discrimination has been condemned by many leaders of U.S. Protestant, Catholic, and Evangelical churches. It also violates the ban on government establishment of religion in the first amendment of the US Constitution as well as U.S. law that bars discrimination “in the issuance of an immigrant visa because of the person’s race, sex, nationality, place of birth or place of residence.” (8 U.S. Code § 1152).
This EO violates the most basic of humanitarian norms at the core of our democracy and puts severe burdens on families in Africa, the other affected countries, and the United States. It will have a severe impact on students and scholars who have or would have sought to have, ties and links with US institutions of higher education.
With many other organizations in the United States and around the world, we therefore call for the immediate rescinding of this executive order and a new U.S. policy to accept more of those fleeing the conflicts around the world.
ACAS January 31 2017