Statements on the January 27, 2017 Executive Order

AAS Statement on the January 27, 2017 Executive Order

February 1, 2017: The Association for Asian Studies stands with our peer professional associations in strongly opposing the Trump Administration’s Executive Order of 27 January 2017, which has suspended entry of all refugees to the United States for 120 days, bars Syrian refugees indefinitely, and blocks the entry of citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days. The Executive Order also has created a great deal of uncertainty even for permanent residents (green card holders) of the U.S. and those with dual citizenship. Beyond the deeply troubling immediate consequences of the Executive Order of 27 January, the Trump Administration’s stated hostility to immigration and global exchange is stoking a climate of anxiety among students, scholars, and their families within and beyond our community, touching many who are not directly affected by the Executive Order but are not U.S. citizens and have entered a new threshold of insecurity.  

The Association for Asian Studies is a non-political, non-profit international professional association open to all persons interested in Asia and the study of Asia. Our membership includes roughly 7,000 scholars, government employees, NGO workers, and business people representing all the regions and countries of Asia. We are a global community whose work thrives on active interaction between scholars and students from Asia, North America, Europe, and Australia. Many of our members came to the United States as voluntary or involuntary immigrants or were born in the U.S. as the children of immigrant parents, and have made significant contributions to American understanding of the Asian region.

As scholars of Asia, our expertise and insights are built upon travel across national borders for study, research, and scholarly communication. We have every reason to believe that the current administration’s policies, in addition to the immediate humanitarian costs of the Executive Order of 27 January 2017, will, by limiting travel and exchange, compromise our own work and severely limit our ability to contribute to the larger community.

AAS President Laurel Kendall on behalf of the AAS Board of Directors


National Council of Area Studies Associations Statement

In the ten days since assuming his presidency, Donald Trump has issued a number of executive orders that have caused great concern and have been repudiated by a broad range of U.S. citizens and institutions, as well as by international leaders. Most prominent are the ban on the entry of Middle Eastern refugees and immigrants to the U.S., the order to construct a wall between Mexico and the United States, and the threat against sanctuary cities that refuse to collaborate with the government by turning undocumented immigrants over to the immigration service. This series of orders discriminates against individuals from the Middle East and endangers U.S. relations with countries in both hemispheres, as well as threatening the democratic functioning of our cities. As area studies associations dedicated to promoting a deeper understanding of Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and other world areas, we call on the President and Congress to lift these executive orders.

Latin American Studies Association
African Studies Association
Association for Asian Studies
Middle East Studies Association
Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies