APA Continues to Oppose Administration's Travel Ban

Welcomes clarification allowing some to enter U.S.

WASHINGTON — The American Psychological Association reaffirmed its opposition to President Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States by people from six majority-Muslim countries, but welcomed the U.S. Supreme Court’s clarification that the ban may not be enforced against foreign nationals who have a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.

“The United States has historically served as a safe haven for the world’s refugees, like me,” said APA President Antonio E. Puente, PhD. “We must continue to develop ways to secure our borders from those very few who wish to harm us while welcoming others who seek refuge.”

Refugees, particularly those displaced from war zones, experience stress, trauma and other serious mental health problems, Puente noted. APA first expressed opposition to the ban in January, when the president issued the executive order. “While safeguarding the nation from terrorist entry is of critical national importance, the proposed restrictions on refugees and other visitors are likely to compound their suffering, and increase stigma and discrimination against them,” Puente said.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case this fall, but in the meantime overturned lower federal court rulings on Monday to let part of the ban go into effect. The ban suspends all refugee admissions for 120 days, reduces the number of refugees to be admitted in 2017 to 50,000, and bars entry for 90 days to individuals from six Muslim-majority countries.