Tristate Academics Oppose Trump’s Visa Ban on Certain Muslim Countries


Oppose Trump’s Visa Ban

As many as 19 Indian-American academics from universities in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania joined over 4,000 scholars from prestigious institutions across the nation Jan. 27, opposing President Trump’s executive order last week for a suspension of visas and other immigration benefits to nationals from certain Muslim countries.

The academics that included Nobel laureates, members of the National Academy of Sciences and faculty and department heads of universities and educational institutions from New York to California, signed an open letter opposing Trump’s 90-day suspension of visas and other immigration benefits to all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. The ban is likely to become permanent after the 90-day suspension period.

At the time of filing this report, at least 90 Indian-American professors and other academics across the U.S. had signed the letter, including people from Columbia, Cornell, Harvard and MIT, among others.

The academics from the Tristate area include professors from Montclair State University, New Jersey; City University of New York; The Pennsylvania State University; Carnegie Mellon University; New York University; University of Pennsylvania; Cornell University and Columbia University, among others.

The academics have outlined three main reasons for their opposition, including the executive order’s discrimination against a large group of immigrants and longtime residents of the U.S. which is based solely on their country of origin, all of which have a majority-Muslim population.

This executive order “is inhumane, un-American and entirely disproportionate to the threat it is purporting to address,” the letter said.

“This executive order would significantly damage the United States’ reputation for academic excellence in higher education. United States research institutions directly benefit from the work of thousands of researchers from the nations affected by this executive order,” the letter said.

“The United States academic community relies on these talented and creative individuals for their contributions to the cutting-edge research,” it added.

The prominent Indian-American academic signatories to the letter include Karna Basu, Associate Professor of Economics, Hunter College, City University of New York; Kalyan Chatterjee, Distinguished Professor of Economics and Management Science, Department of Economics, The Pennsylvania State University; Anind K. Dey, Professor and Department Head, Human-Computer Interaction Institute, Carnegie Mellon University; Sampath Kannan, Henry Salvatori Professor and Chair, Computer and Information Science Department, University of Pennsylvania and Yash Kanoria, Assistant Professor of Decision, Risk and Operations, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University.

The academics urged President Trump “to reconsider his stance to be more consistent with the longstanding values and principles of this country.”