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The U.S. Travel Ban: CALICO Statement and Action Plan


The CALICO Executive Board stands with our fellow organizations in applied linguistics and language education* in denouncing the travel ban issued by the Executive Branch of the U.S. government on January 27, 2017. Although the original travel ban is currently being litigated in federal court, even the hint of such wide-scale restriction of movement goes against the principles of international collaboration, cooperation, intercultural learning, and academic freedom that are fundamental to our teaching and research. 

In the event that this or a similar ban is upheld, there are scholars, colleagues and guest speakers in our field and among the CALICO membership who will not be able to attend our conference in May from outside the United States. This would be devastating for networking, collaboration and the sharing of knowledge. Similarly, there are those already within U.S. borders, including international graduate students and post docs, who may not be able to finish their studies or programs of research if they leave the United States to attend one of any number of related international conferences. Indeed, a recent post by the Linguistics Society of America has begun to document how this is unfolding already in the language-related fields in the United States.

CALICO will therefore draw upon our expertise in technology and our international colleagues to help maintain our commitment to international scholarship, collaboration, and academic freedom. In partnership with our European sister organization EUROCALL, we are exploring the following options to support those who find themselves affected by this or any subsequent travel ban between now and the 2017 CALICO Conference (May 16-20) in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA:

·      The formation of a panel or strand at the 2017 EUROCALL conference (Aug 23-26) in Southampton, UK for those whose papers have been accepted at CALICO but cannot travel to the United States due to this or a subsequent travel ban.

·      Video-recording of these papers to be made available on the CALICO and EUROCALL websites to ensure this research reaches those who attended CALICO but could not attend EUROCALL.

·      The use of digital technologies so that those whose travel has been affected by the ban can participate, network, and interact virtually in real time with other attendees.

With this statement, CALICO affirms its commitment to the sharing of knowledge and ideas and collaboration between researchers and institutions in CALL from around the world.


The CALICO Executive Board

February 2017


*Included here are links to the statements issued by the American Association for Applied Linguistics (AAAL's Statement), the American Council on the Teachers of Foreign Languages (ACTFL's Statement), the Modern Language Association (MLA's Statement), and the TESOL International Association (TESOL's Statement).