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Policy Alert: White House Executive Order Banning Travel to US

2/8/2017-

by SIOP Administrative Office

SIOP to Join More than 170 Organizations in Signing AAAS Statement

As surely most of our members have heard, on January 27 President Trump signed an Executive Order that included language banning nationals of seven countries from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days. Those countries include:  Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The order led to many people being detained or denied entry into the US. The order has also raised legal concerns as well as sparked protests around the United States and the world.

On February 3, federal Judge James Robart of the US District Court for the Western District of Washington issued a temporary restraining order suspending key parts of the executive order nationwide. Three federal judges heard oral arguments February 7. A decision from the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, is expected later this week.  Although the temporary restraining order has halted the ban for now, the issue will need to work its way through the courts to determine its ultimate fate.

The SIOP leadership appreciates all of the thoughtful comments and legitimate concerns brought forth over this period by members of SIOP and the I-O psychology community. We have been monitoring the evolving situation and have taken a close look at how this particular order could affect SIOP’s international members as well as the scientific community as a whole.

In response, the SIOP leadership recently took action to endorse and sign a letter by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) calling for the White House to rescind the executive order. The letter has been signed by more than 170 organizations representing a broad spectrum of professional scientific, engineering and education societies, national associations, and universities.

In the letter, AAAS explains how the executive order “has profound implications for diplomatic, humanitarian, and national security interests, in part because of the negative impact on U.S. science and engineering capacity.” The letter goes on to explain that the signing groups are deeply concerned that this executive order will have a negative impact on the ability of scientists and engineers in industry and academia to enter, or leave from and return to, the United States.

“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.” 

                                                  You can read the full AAAS statement here.

SIOP recognizes that our membership, which comprises more than 9,000 professionals from around the world, holds diverse views and opinions on this topic. The Society respects all members’ opinions and understands the importance of respecting these differences as an underpinning of both the scientific community and democracy. We also respect and value our members’ contributions to science, practice, and academic inquiry, no matter their country of origin.

What Can You Do?

SIOP would like to stress its continued commitment to inclusion, diversity, and supporting scientific collaboration and inquiry. We will continue to actively monitor this situation and ensure that we get relevant information to members in a timely manner.

Several people have contacted SIOP expressing concerns about the travel ban preventing their colleagues, collaborators, or students from attending the upcoming SIOP Annual Conference in Orlando.  We understand this concern. Although we have determined the travel ban will have a relatively minimal effect on our international members and conference attendees, SIOP has received a few communications from potential conference attendees requesting guidance on attending the conference and we have responded. Here is what you can do now:

  • Although the temporary restraining order has halted the ban for now, SIOP will not know the ultimate fate of the executive order for some time as it works its way through the courts. If you know of a particular psychologist or scientist who may be affected by the ban, please let us know by calling the Administrative Office or emailing siop@siop.org.
  • Please continue to read and stay updated on the news, including following any communications from SIOP. As we have always strived to do, SIOP will do its very best to inform members of any policies or actions that may impact members, the Society, or the field of I-O psychology.
  • Educate yourself on SIOP's values, mission, and goals. As a professional, scientific society, SIOP greatly values and continuously works toward encouraging collaboration and exchange of ideas globally and creating opportunities to foster our science and the application of our knowledge for the betterment of work, workers, workplaces, and society. Our core values include intellectual integrity and the scientific method; maintaining a professional, collegial, and inclusive community; and the highest ethical standards in research, education, and practice. Read SIOP’s mission statement, vision, core values, and strategic goals here.