Does anyone have any information on this? Are academics somehow protected from Trump's ban on Muslims?

I know that some have the "alien of extraordinary ability" work visa, but what about for others that don't have such status?

  • 15
    Related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/86995/…. It's on travel, and the question asks about tourism/transit but the current top answer clarifies that it includes immigrant visas and even green card holders ("permanent" residents), with only a few exceptions (basically diplomats, definitely not academics).
    – Cascabel
    Jan 29 '17 at 6:29
  • 22
    (Deleted chatty comments.) In particular, note that while this question shows incomplete understanding of the recent executive order, it asks for clarification - which may be provided in answers. Misunderstanding the EO is evidence of misunderstanding, not of strawmanning.
    – ff524
    Jan 29 '17 at 23:04
  • 1
    Related: meta.academia.stackexchange.com/q/3659
    – user8762
    Jan 31 '17 at 21:28

I know that some have the "alien of extraordinary ability" work visa, but what about for others that don't have such status?

Even green card holders are impacted by the ban. As far as I know, only diplomatic visa holders are not impacted by the ban.

A message that I received from my university on 2017-01-29 at 6 PM UTC seems to indicate that in Massachusetts the ban is lifted for the next seven days:

Early this morning, the Massachusetts federal district court issued a temporary order that restrains the government from enforcing the Executive Order to detain or remove holders of a valid visa or green card who travel from the seven countries to the US through Logan Airport. This order is in effect for the next 7 days. The seven affected countries are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. […] We encourage you to fly back to Boston--directly to Logan Airport--as as soon as possible, and before February 4.

An update from my university I received on 2017-02-02 at 9 PM UTC:

Suspension/Cancellation of Visa Appointments at US Consulates Abroad, Revocation of Visas, and Suspension of Adjudications at USCIS

Dear International Scholars,

This is to confirm that the US Department of State has issued guidance to consulates worldwide directing them to cancel visa appointments and suspend visa issuance to nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen until further notice.

This means new scholars who were born in or who are citizens of these seven countries will be unable to get their initial visas to enter the US and current scholars traveling home or to conferences will not be able to renew their US entry visa stamps until further notice. Department of State is also cancelling green card interviews and suspending the issuance of immigrant visas at consular posts.

In addition, the US Department of State issued an order revoking all currently valid non-immigrant and immigrant visas issued to nationals of these countries.

You may read the announcements on the Department of State website at https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/news.htmland at http://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000159-f6bd-d173-a959-ffff671a0001.

Links to articles describing the situation in more detail can be found at http://www.wbur.org/news/2017/02/01/visas-revoked-state-departmentand https://www.pri.org/stories/2017-01-29/these-are-new-instructions-state-department-rushed-embassies-worldwide.

If you are currently in the US and are from one of the countries listed above, we continue to recommend that you DO NOT travel outside the country at this time. If you absolutely must travel, please be aware that you risk not being able to return as planned.

If you are outside of the US and have not yet contacted the ISchO, please e-mail us as soon as possible.

You may also be aware that in addition to visa issuance and entry into the US, the recent Executive Order refers in places to the “adjudication of other immigration benefits.” It is our understanding that in addition to suspending visa processing and entry into the US for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, USCIS has also halted adjudication of applications/petitions (including F-1 OPT, other applications to change or extend nonimmigrant status, and permanent residence applications) for citizens of these countries. However, at this time, it appears that USCIS is still accepting applications/petitions – just not making a final decision.

We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.


  • 8
    It is not correct that green card holders are "targeted" by the executive order, although it is true that some green card holders were detained or delayed. wsj.com/articles/…
    – Bob Brown
    Jan 29 '17 at 23:49
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    @BobBrown It is true that green card holders are included by the language of the EO. However, the government later decided not to apply it to them, after a bit of equivocation. The language of Section 3(c) of the EO applies to all 'aliens' from those countries. Per the definition in 8 USC 1101, 'alien' for the purpose of the relevant U.S. laws includes anyone who isn't a national or citizen of the U.S.
    – reirab
    Jan 30 '17 at 22:12
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    I'm not sure that the advice in the message from the university is correct. AFAIK, the judicial orders only effectively applied to anyone who was already at a port of entry or in transit there. In theory, if you could get to Logan airport, it might cover you, but in practice I'd assume that airlines would deny you boarding per the EO unless you were already there or already in transit.
    – reirab
    Jan 30 '17 at 22:15
  • Also the DHS has said they're ignoring these judicial stays and enforcing the EO regardless of what the courts have done. Unfortunately they're the ones that ultimately control entry, so there's nothing the courts can really do about it.
    – thanby
    Jan 31 '17 at 21:28
  • 2
    @thanby: Theoretically, the courts could send in the U.S. Marshals (as officers of the court). Jan 31 '17 at 22:00

The current ban applies only to people who are outside the US. Nobody knows what Trump might do in the future, though.

Edit: The situation keeps changing, and I will not be updating this answer. Stack Exchange is not a news service.

  • 4
    I see - I would have expected our University president to address this ban but still no word yet. What if non-American, Muslim professors need to travel outside the US for a conference, for instance.
    – User001
    Jan 29 '17 at 4:41
  • 158
    @user68375 The ban is based on nationality, not religion. (Though religion is obviously the motivation.) People who are affected by the ban would be wise not to leave the US if they want to come back again. Obviously this is unfair. Jan 29 '17 at 5:06
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – ff524
    Jan 29 '17 at 23:00
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    People currently outside the US. Some of the people detained at airports over the weekend are currently living or studying here, and had left temporarily. It is unclear how the order will be applied to them in the future---it could be that the "further screening" will only apply to new arrivals, or it could be that all arrivals from some countries will expect >24 hours of detainment upon arrival to the US regardless of their status here.
    – SamM
    Jan 30 '17 at 11:17
  • 9
    The much-up-voted comment about the ban being based on nationality, not religion, provides important information that might be added to the answer. It might also be worth mentioning that a federal judge has put a temporary injunction on the order, and that her reasoning includes her belief that it's likely to be (at least partially) defeated in court, as this information would be important to academics having to deal with the implications of the executive order in question.
    – Nat
    Jan 30 '17 at 16:13

Academics are certainly being barred from entry at this time. Several examples are in the New York Daily News article linked below (date: Jan-29, 2017). For example:

An Iranian doctoral student at the City University of New York, Saira Rafiee, was stopped in Abu Dhabi and not allowed to board a U.S.-bound flight, political science Prof. Kenneth Paul Erickson wrote. Rafiee had traveled to Iran for the winter break.

Ironically, Saira wrote this morning (quoted in PSC-CUNY email): "As a student of sociology and political science, I have devoted a major part of my scholarly life to the study of authoritarianism..."

Edit: Some relevant news links:

  • USA Today counts 23,763 international students as being affected by the ban (using data from the Department of Homeland Security).
  • Yahoo Finance reports that the Association of American Universities released a statement saying, "The order is stranding students who have been approved to study here and are trying to get back to campus, and threatens to disrupt the education and research of many others."
  • CBS News reports on individual responses from the presidents of several top universities.
  • New York Daily News reports on experiences of several students caught in the ban at JFK (including Saira Rafiee, above).
  • PSC-CUNY released the full email statement that I referenced above.

Are academics somehow protected from Trump's ban on Muslims?

There is no ban on Muslims. I don't know who's been telling you there is a ban on Muslims. We do not have this phenomenon in the U.S.

The current ban prevents nationals of certain countries from entering, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

Academics are not protected from this ban. The ban is simply based on being from a certain country; it is not related to a person's achievements or merit in any way.

Needless to say, if you qualify for U.S. citizenship, get your citizenship paperwork in pronto!

  • 52
    If I may address "who has been telling you there is a ban on Muslims", Donald Trump campaign December 2015: "Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," a campaign press release said." And... many times since then, usually discussing how to get around the unconstitutionality of a religious test might involve banning some countries.
    – user18072
    Jan 29 '17 at 21:38
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    @djechlin Well, Trump may have called for one thing or other while campaigning. But we're discussing the current and actual ban, not plans Trump had while he was campaigning. Jan 30 '17 at 4:44
  • 16
    While I disagree with the tone of this answer and its lack of reference to the context of what Trump said while campaigning, it is technically correct. The ban is on nationals of particular countries and there are no exceptions for academics. Jan 30 '17 at 11:15
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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – ff524
    Jan 30 '17 at 20:44
  • 1
    -1 for "I don't know who's been telling you there is a ban on Muslims," esp. now that the order has been blocked by courts on exactly this basis. Vox: "The judiciary will all but certainly subject any [new] ban to some level of scrutiny — they are unlikely to be so skeptical of the first version of a ban and then roll over when another version is put forth just because the second version took more time. That means the question of anti-Muslim animus might well be constitutionally relevant." -- vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/10/14578292/… Feb 11 '17 at 20:00

Currently as long as you are not a citizen of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, you can still enter the US. You will not be forcibly deported on any basis. If however, you are a citizen of above countries and you leave the US, you may face difficulty in re-entry even if you are a green card holder.

  • 23
    There are reports that simply being born in one of those countries (irrespective of citizenship) is enough to be banned, e.g.: twitter.com/nadhimzahawi/status/825445925275500545 Jan 29 '17 at 19:04
  • 1
    Yes, apparently there are issues with dual nationality, green card holders, that have yet to be worked out. You are at least likely to be detained pending clarification.
    – deworde
    Jan 30 '17 at 9:24
  • 2
    Double-passport holders seem to be affected as well.
    – Mast
    Jan 30 '17 at 14:23

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