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On January 27, 2017, the U.S. President issued an executive order temporarily banning travel from seven Muslim-majority countries, temporarily banning all refugees to the United States, and indefinitely banning refugees from Syria. To read the executive order with annotations by NPR journalists, click here.

This executive order has alarmed many people both in the United States and around the world, including SPSSI's leadership. Here is how SPSSI is responding:

Statement of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues (SPSSI) on the Recent Executive Order Concerning Refugees, Visitors from Select Countries

On February 8, 2017, SPSSI's President, Immediate Past President, and President-Elect issued a statement in response to the executive order described above. This statement was drafted by SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Member David Livert, Ph.D., and SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Interns Michelle Herrera, Ph.D. student, and Gina Roussos, Ph.D. student, in collaboration with SPSSI UN/NGO Committee Member Corann Okorodudu, Ph.D., SPSSI Policy Committee Chair Linda Silka, Ph.D., and SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll, M.S. 

Citing several bodies of research within the social sciences, the authors argued that, "When our nation welcomes refugees (and immigrants, and international visitors more generally) regardless of religion, race, or ethnicity, we reap important social and economic rewards, advance our country’s commitment to human rights, and undermine efforts to radicalize both those outside of our borders and those within our borders."

SPSSI Joins Other Professional Scientific Societies in Calling for Executive Order to be Rescinded

On January 31, 2017, SPSSI joined 170 other organizations representing a broad spectrum of professional scientific, engineering and education societies, national associations, and universities in urging the Administration to rescind the executive order. As noted in the letter, "The executive order will discourage many of the best and brightest international students, scholars, engineers and scientists from studying and working, attending academic and scientific conferences, or seeking to build new businesses in the United States. Implementation of this policy will compromise the United States’ ability to attract international scientific talent and maintain scientific and economic leadership."

SPSSI Joins Other UN-Affiliated NGOs in Stating that the Recent Executive Order Violates Fundamental Human Rights

The NGO Committee on Migration is a member of the Conference of Non Governmental Organizations in consultative relationship with the United Nations. The mission of the NGO Committee on Migration is to encourage the protection and promotion of migrants’ human rights, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. As written in this statement, "The decree, which was arbitrarily and summarily enforced, is clearly in violation of several of the UN Conventions prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion, nationality or race." Note: The NGO Committee on Migration is still acquiring signatories. A final version of this letter will be uploaded as soon as it is available.)

Related Resources

To add a resource to this page, please contact SPSSI Policy Director Sarah Mancoll