Statement from the BAAS Executive Committee on Executive Order Restricting Entry into the United States

Members of BAAS are deeply alarmed by the recent Executive Order issued by President Donald Trump banning entry to the United States of people from seven majority-Muslim nations for a period of 90 days, the temporary suspension of the U.S Refugee Programme and indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. Regardless of questions about the constitutionality of the policy, which is for lawyers and judges to determine, BAAS considers it divisive and discriminatory. The policy runs counter to the United States’ best ideals; it flies in the face of powerful traditions of tolerance and compassion that, when honoured, have been inspirational around the globe.

For the past half-century, BAAS has been devoted to exploring the American experience in all its complexities. It will continue to do so, adhering to the principles of scholarly rigour in studying the history, cultures and politics of the United States, past and present. It will also continue to respect the wide variety of opinions that are possible on any complicated issue. It must, however, condemn any ideology or policy that seeks to divide, demonize or discriminate against people according to their faith, nationality, or any other marker of identity. In the present case, BAAS also wishes to express sympathy and solidarity with all those who have been directly affected by this Executive Order. We will continue to work with our members and the broader community to promote and defend the academic values and civic freedoms we share.

BAAS Executive Committee

01 February 2017