ISIM Statement on Immigration Executive Order

Statement from Institute for the Study of International Migration (ISIM):

Since its founding in 1998, the Institute for the Study of International Migration has been committed to applying the best social science research and policy expertise to understanding international migration and its consequences. ISIM has sought to take an objective non-partisan approach to building deep understanding of migration by drawing on sound qualitative and quantitative methodologies. President Trump’s recent executive order, which drastically limits refugee admissions, indefinitely bars Syrian refugees from entering the country, and places restrictions on travel from some Muslim-majority countries, appears not be be inspired by any systematic inquiry about the impacts of migration and refugee resettlement. On the contrary, our research has repeatedly shown immigrants enrich U.S. society, and the longstanding refugee resettlement program that has offered thousands fleeing persecution and war a chance to build new lives is one of our country’s greatest strengths. Furthermore, as Georgetown President John DeGioia noted in his statement on the issue, Georgetown’s international character is integral to our identity as we deeply value and depend on the free flow of people and their ideas, teaching, and learning.

While there has certainly been fluctuation in American’s refugee and immigration policy in the past, the President’s order to indefinitely suspend Syrian resettlement and halt entry of certain nationalities is unprecedented. We are also well aware that when a state detains refugees and immigrants with valid documentation and coerces them into signing voluntary departure agreements, it is violating their rights as guaranteed by international human rights law.

Not only do we oppose this executive order as scholars and practitioners working on migration issues and as refugees and immigrants ourselves, we also oppose it on the grounds that it negatively affects many of our students. We therefore take this opportunity to pledge our support for students, scholars, faculty, staff, and members of the broader community, irrespective of nationality, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.