On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that bans nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya, and Somalia. We, the undersigned members of the executive committee of the Association of Contemporary African Linguistics, deeply regret and condemn the travel ban.
Our organization’s mission is to advance and sustain the linguistic study of African languages. This executive order hampers the freedom of movement of our members, the intellectual life of our field, and the integrity of communities we work with in our research. Three of the countries on the travel ban are African nations. The travel ban prevents members of these nations from attending our annual conference, currently scheduled within the 90 day window, it prohibits those affected by the ban from leaving the US and participating in conferences abroad, and it is likely to decrease participation in our annual conference due to uncertainty created by the order. The executive order is likely to make it more difficult for our American members to carry out research with Muslim-majority communities in Africa, either as the result of retaliatory actions from foreign governments, increased suspicion of our motives, or generally deteriorating international relations. Many members of our organization also work closely with African refugee communities in the U.S. who will be impacted by this executive order in profoundly negative ways.
We affirm our support for all members of our Association, especially those from the affected countries.
The undersigned members and officers of the executive committee:
Lee Bickmore, President
Akin Akinlabi, Vice President
Michael Marlo, member of Executive Committee
Laura Downing, member of Executive Committee
Jonathan Choti, member of Executive Committee
Sharon Rose, Treasurer
Michael Cahill, Secretary