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AAA Calls for Immediate Reversal of Executive Order Banning Immigrants
The American Anthropological Association (AAA) calls on the US government to immediately reverse its ill-informed, heavy-handed executive order suspending entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, barring Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocking entry into the United States for 90 days for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The Department of Homeland Security immediately began enforcing the order, including barring green card holders from those countries from re-entering the United States, with exceptions to be evaluated on a bureaucratically slow and inefficient case-by-case basis.
“The order must be rescinded, immediately, and the hateful cultural ignorance behind it must be named,” said AAA President Alisse Waterston.
Anthropology is dedicated to making the world safe for cultural differences. Our scholarship helps advance understanding by taking the long and comparative view of human behavior. From our perspective, this executive order serves no useful purpose and dramatically reverses decades of precedent without any apparent careful consideration for the violation of human rights of refugees and immigrants and of the prospect for potentially dangerous consequences. This executive order places scholars, students and practitioners in anthropology and other disciplines in serious jeopardy.
“We will continue to muster anthropological knowledge and expertise in the service of upholding human rights, protecting academic freedom and helping solve—not exacerbate—human problems,” Waterston added. “To our friends and colleagues around the world, we feel compelled to emphasize this new administration’s actions do not reflect the views of a majority or even a plurality of the American people. This government cannot hide behind the spectacle and highly charged xenophobic rhetoric of nationalism any longer. Its policies and practices must be based on knowledge gained from systematic observation. To do otherwise places human rights and the rule of law in peril. We are watching closely, and hold this new administration accountable for remaining within the guide rails of truth and justice.”
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Founded in 1902, the American Anthropological Association, with 10,000 members, is the world’s largest scholarly and professional organization of anthropologists. The Association is dedicated to advancing human understanding and applying this understanding to the world’s most pressing problems.