On Sunday, January 29, 2017, President David M Hughes and Vice President Deepa Kumar of the full-time faculty union and President Teresa Politano of the part-time lecturer faculty union sent the following emergency message:
URGENT BULLETIN on the "Muslim Ban"
As you may have heard, the Trump Administration issued an executive order on Friday, prohibiting nationals of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the US for the next 90 days. Those countries are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Needless to say, this restriction – which may expand to include more countries and extend for more time – will disrupt the work of faculty, postdocs, graduate students, and undergraduates. Please sign the petition against this so-called Muslim ban.
We are writing to you on an urgent basis because individuals already living in the US on a visa or green card may not be allowed to reenter the country upon their return from foreign travel. (The White House may have relaxed the ban on green card-holders this morning, but that is unclear.)
Customs and Border Patrol appears to be turning back holders of Iranian, Iraqi, Libyan, Somali, Syrian, and Yemeni passports regardless of mitigating circumstances (except in the case of holders of very uncommon types of visas). To make matters worse, the Executive Order appears to treat dual citizens of, for instance, Germany and Iran as Iranians. Such a person may be blocked from entering the United States even when traveling on the German passport and holding a US green card. If you hold a passport from one of the listed countries and are currently outside the United States, even if you are also a legal permanent resident of the US, please respond to this email. If you are currently detained at a US airport – as many travelers are – please write immediately to email@example.com. We will connect you with lawyers in New Jersey and Washington, DC trying to get you and others back home. If you are in the US currently and are affected by the Executive Order, please read the just-prepared “toolkit” from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC).
In February, the Union will mount a workshop for affected faculty, students, and staff. Please stay tuned for more information on that event. Also, consult with the Rutgers-wide Center for Global Services.
The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – to which our Union belongs – is monitoring this situation very closely and will be updating the Rutgers AAUP-AFT faculty union immediately upon any change to the “Muslim ban.” Please consult with us if you have any questions. As we wrote above, the Muslim ban may well expand to include other countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. If you hold a passport from a Muslim-majority country beyond the listed seven, you may still want to reconsider travel outside the United States. To sort through your options, we can refer you to immigration attorneys participating in the statewide network established for this purpose after Trump’s election. Please know, also, that your national AFT Union is actively engaged with legislators, other labor unions, and allied organizations (including ADC) to coordinate a visible and forceful response to the "Muslim ban."
David, Deepa, and Teresa
David M. Hughes,
Professor of Anthropology, SAS-New Brunswick
President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT full-time faculty union
Associate Professor, Journalism & Media Studies (SC&I-New Brunswick)
Vice President, Rutgers AAUP-AFT full-time faculty union
Part-Time Lecturer, Journalism & Media Studies (SC&I-New Brunswick)
President, Part-Time Lecturer Faculty Chapter, Rutgers AAUP-AFT