A Note on the Trump Immigration Policy

This site is seven years old, during which time I have not written a single post which is not explicitly about economics research. The posts have collectively reached well over a half million readers in this time, and I have been incredibly encouraged to see how many folks, even outside of academia, are interested in how economics, and economic theory in particular, can help explain the social world.

I hope you’ll permit me to take one post where I break the “economic research only” rule. The executive order issued yesterday banning entry into the United States for citizens of seven nations is an abomination, and directly contrary to both the words of Lazarus’ poem on the Statue of Liberty and the 1965 immigration reform which banned discrimination on the basis of national origin. It is an absolute disgrace, particularly to me as an American who, like the majority of my countrymen, see the immigrant experience as the greatest source of pride the country has to offer. Every academic, including myself, has friends and colleagues and coauthors from the countries included on this ban.

I understand that there are citizens of the affected countries worried about how their studies will be able to continue given these immigration restrictions. While my hope is that the courts will overturn this un-American executive order, I want our friends from these countries to know that there are currently plans in the works to assist you. If you are a economics or strategy student affected by this order, or have students in those fields who may need temporary academic accommodation elsewhere, please email me at kevin.bryan@rotman.utoronto.ca . This is of particular importance for students from the affected countries who are unable to return to the United States from present foreign travel. I can’t make any promises, but I have been in contact with a number of universities who may be able to help. If you are a PhD program director who may be able to help, I’d ask you to also contact me and I can keep you informed as to how things are progressing and how you can assist.

There is a troubling, nativist, anti-liberal (in the sense of Hume and Smith and Mill) streak in the world at the moment. The progress of knowledge depends on an open, free, and international system of cooperation. We in academia must stand up for this system, and for our friends who are being shut out of it.


7 thoughts on “A Note on the Trump Immigration Policy

  1. Ed Maguire says:

    I agree, whole heartedly! Ed Maguire Los Angeles

  2. doncoffin64 says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. I have been in contact with my senators and Congressman urging them to protest this Executive Order, which, in addition to violating at least one law (as you note), is an offense to America’s history and to the lives of the millions of people who, now or earlier, have been able to achieve what they are capable of, and add immensely to the wealth (not wholly financial) and beauty of this nation.

  3. Thanks for posting this, which is a useful offer of assistance for many, I’m sure.

  4. Way to go! Textbook example of virtue signalling/moral grandstanding …

    • N.K Anton says:

      This is absurd and your post on your blog is irrelevant. Bryant is not virtue-signalling, even in least the even charitable sense. How is it virtue-signalling if he is actually asking people to contact him if they are in assistance?

      Virtue signalling, much like Beckerisms, may have an initial intellectual ‘a-ha!’ feeling but its clear that its not a very good term if you can apply it to bloody everything.

      And perhaps, just perhaps, political decisions have moral values independent of the Constitution.

  5. cardiffkook says:

    “There is a troubling, nativist, anti-liberal (in the sense of Hume and Smith and Mill) streak in the world at the moment. The progress of knowledge depends on an open, free, and international system of cooperation.”

    I agree completely with this comment, and disagree with everything the President says, and the majority of what he is doing and (even more so) how he goes about doing it.

    However, that said, I think it is entirely reasonable for a country to protect its borders and control the rate of immigration and, if deemed necessary, to screen people before they are admitted. I think a country also should follow the rule of law and that means that the status quo should not be to have a law on the books which is violated daily by millions of people with a wink from authorities.

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