The faculty of the Linguistics Department at USC strongly condemns the immigration and travel ban signed and implemented on January 27, 2017. We believe the ban is immoral: it targets individuals on the basis of their nationality, and ultimately their ethnicity and religion, it denies protection to refugees escaping war and persecution, and it tears apart families and communities. We are also deeply alarmed by the execution of the ban, which has resulted in prolonged detainment at airports, denial of legal representation, and deportations.
We stand with our current and former students who are directly affected by this ban, many of whom have aging parents and relatives in the targeted countries. It tears at our hearts to imagine what a terrible and unreasonable hardship they are facing right now. We also stand with all our international students who now fear that they may not be able to continue their studies in the US. We support all of our students regardless of their nationality, citizenship, ethnicity, or religion. Although we are a small department, our faculty and students come from many countries, working together and enriching each other’s lives. We are one another’s colleagues, classmates, teachers, mentors, and friends. When confronted with xenophobia, islamophobia, and racism, we can count on one another for the care and strength we need to persevere, and to continue our work together.
As scientists, we are committed to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge and we aspire to foster rational and critical thinking, free of prejudice and dogma. We oppose barriers to the communication of ideas and collaborative efforts for discovery. We strongly oppose discriminatory actions aimed at anyone in our community. We value diversity. We believe in human equality and dignity. We will not be divided.