The Australian Political Studies Association is deeply concerned by the Executive Order issued by the US President on January 27th 2017. The Executive Order bans entry into the United States for 90 days for travellers with citizenship from Iraq, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen and bans travellers from Syria indefinitely.
A travel ban on people of selected nationalities harms academic freedom and inhibits the global exchange of knowledge and ideas that is central to academic enterprise. This is particularly harmful coming from a country which has such an important presence in the global academy. Australian-based academics who are citizens of or refugees from the affected countries, or who undertake research in the affected countries, may now face significant barriers to conference attendance, research or fellowships in the United States. Many American-based academics will now face the prospect of being unable to return if they leave the United States to attend conferences or undertake research. The uncertainty around the legality of this order, its exact terms, and how it will be implemented makes it very difficult for potentially affected people to plan international travel for either work or family reasons. This is unacceptably discriminatory and destructive of academic freedom.
We are also concerned that a ban on refugees for any length of time violates the obligations of the United States under the Geneva Convention, and that this ban targets people of Muslim faith in a way that may violate the United States Constitution. It endangers vulnerable people around the world and will damage relations between the United States and other countries. We join the calls of numerous Political Science associations worldwide, and express solidarity with our colleagues in the USA and with all Americans who are urging the President and the United States government to end this ban immediately.