Profs and Nobel Laureates Sign Petition Opposing Trump Executive Order

The petition decries the immigration ban as “inhumane, ineffective, and un-American.”

By Vivian He

More than 120 faculty members at the University of Chicago have signed a growing petition denouncing President Trump’s executive order banning refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

President Donald Trump issued an executive order on January 27 that banned nationals of seven Muslim countries including Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia from entering the United States for at least the next 90 days and suspended admission of Syrian refugees for the next four months. Since its issuance, the order has sparked opposition from around the world.

As of January 30, three days since the release of the executive order, the petition has garnered signatures from 9,000 faculty members from universities across the country. Among them are 44 Nobel Laureates and 273 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Arts. Close to 3,000 other signatures have been garnered from doctoral students, master’s students, and non–U.S. scholars.

From the University of Chicago, Nobel Laureates Eugene F. Fama (economics, 2013), Lars Peter Hansen (economics, 2013), Robert Lucas Jr. (economics, 1995), and Roger Myerson (economics, 2007) have signed the petition, among other distinguished faculty.

The petition lists three reasons for its opposition to the executive order.

First, the petition holds that the order is discriminatory because it unfairly targets immigrants based on their countries of origin.

Second, the petition says that the executive order is detrimental to American leadership in education and research, citing the prolific academic collaboration that takes place between America and several of the banned countries. According to the petition, more than 3,000 students from Iran alone have received Ph.D.’s from American universities in the past three years.

Finally, the petition claims that the order imposes undue burden on members of the academic community.

The petition decries the immigration ban as “inhumane, ineffective, and un-American."