The faculty and graduate students of the Department of Geography at the University of British Columbia join other academic and non-academic communities in condemning the Executive Order on Immigration signed by US President Donald Trump on March 6th, 2017, banning citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen entry to the United States, and suspending refugee entry. That this is the second such order is evidence of the Trump administration’s continued commitment to discrimination and Islamophobia. Indeed, in the past month we have seen unparalleled acts of violence against communities of color and border crossers in the United States and Canada, as well as in other parts of the world. The ongoing impacts of both executive orders demand that we remain vigilant and committed to unconditionally denouncing all discrimination, hatred, and violence on the basis of nationality, race, and religion. We stand in solidarity with and in some cases as people of colour, Indigenous people, Muslims, Jewish people, immigrants, asylum-seekers, refugees, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQI communities, and allies in favor of equality and social justice.
The Department of Geography therefore reaffirms our commitment to fostering an inclusive and safe environment that provides students, faculty, and staff with the best possible conditions for learning, researching, and working. The Executive Order directly impacts the ability of scholars to move across borders, and restricts academic freedom and exchange. As a Department, we pledge to take concrete and practical steps to address the impacts of the Executive Order on our students and colleagues, and we will work to encourage action from UBC and other scholarly communities to mitigate the impacts of the ban and call for its repeal. We take inspiration from on-going struggles of resistance to white supremacy, settler colonialism, and gender and reproductive violence. Today, we express our commitment to promoting a diverse, inclusive, and just community capable of discussion and disagreement without retreating to places of fear, hate and intolerance.