As a scholarly and educational organization founded on the promotion, advancement, and preservation not only of Italian culture but also intercultural competence, the American Association of Teachers of Italian (AATI), which consists of members worldwide, welcomes talented citizens from all nations to come to the United States to study, teach, and pursue research. As such, the AATI is gravely concerned about the recent Presidential Executive Order that prevents visa holders of seven nations from returning to/entering the US for a period of 90 days. This draconian decision on the part of President Trump creates extreme hardships on students, teachers, researchers, faculty, and staff who are citizens of these seven countries, not to mention academic programs affected by this decision and those who were abroad when the Executive Order went into effect. The President’s Executive Order also creates a negative precedent for any and all students or faculty from any country wanting to seek a position in the US. Furthermore, any religious distinction by the US government between citizens of these nations is unconstitutional.
Representing Italian Americans among its membership and constituencies, a people once subject to such prejudices based on appearance, ethnicity, religion, language and provenance, the leadership of the AATI is both personally and professionally against the perpetuation of this treatment. The rigid and biased categorization of people is something we have witnessed too many times in our modern era. The AATI, thus, abhors all actions of this sort and strongly condemns this ban on Muslim-majority countries.