Are non-citizen Muslim professors and students going to be removed from US universities and subsequently deported by Trump's ban?

This post has several problems:

  1. It mischaracterizes the problem, in a manner akin to the question "have you stopped beating your wife?"

  2. It is incredibly localized, involving a rapidly changing event, and is highly unlikely to be useful to anyone visiting the site weeks, or even days, from now.

  3. It has absolutely nothing to do with Academia. You could replace the words "professors," "students" and "universities" in the post with words from other professions or groups, and the question being asked would be exactly the same.

  4. It's a highly-speculative question involving legal matters that haven't happened yet. Any answer provided is almost certainly going to be purely opinion.

Adding to the fodder of instant-twitter news and general hysteria over the Trump administration is not what this, or any other site on the Stack Exchange network is about. Stack Exchange is for answers, not discussion, and already a moderator has had to truncate comments not once, but twice on this post.

It's a magnet for bike-shedding, and it's unlikely to produce any actionable information that an academic can use. Even the highest voted answer proclaims: "Stack Exchange is not a news service."

Please close.

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    It's not so incredibly localized, after all, given that it's affecting a lot of people around the world (e.g., my group). Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 22:43
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    Note also that, in some sense, we have a lot of questions that mischaracterize a problem: it's the answers that shouldn't mischaracterize it. Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 22:50
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    I agree with the complaint about speculation and that answers will likely change/become invalid in the future. I disagree that this has nothing to do with academia: immigration and visitor status for academics is not always the same as for other groups, and this is an issue that concerns many people. I also disagree that this is "incredibly localized": many questions here concern individual countries, this one concerns developments in one country that affect individuals from multiple countries.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 22:53
  • @BryanKrause: It's not specifically about academia.
    – user8762
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 22:54
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    I'd also like to point out that while you are active on StackExchange, you have only been an occasional commentator here, not an active participant in asking or answering questions related to academia, and although there is some consistency across the StackExchange community, the individual SE sites vary on how they interpret and implement the guidelines.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 22:58
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    The question specifically asks: "are academics somehow protected."
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 23:00
  • @MassimoOrtolano: It's localized in the sense of "Why is that green car parked in front of my house?" (15 minutes later) "Is it still there?"
    – user8762
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 23:18
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    I don't know if you made a tour of this site before posting this, but we have a number of localized questions in that sense. I don't claim that that is a good question, but I don't find your post convincingly enough to VTC. It seems to me more a personal agenda than a sincere interest toward the quality of our community. Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 23:24
  • @MassimoOrtolano: A personal agenda? If there is one, it is the distaste for the saturation in the media with minutely, mostly useless information. I don't think we should be a part of that. If that's what you mean by an agenda, damn right.
    – user8762
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 23:29
  • -1: I see that the only 4 rep points you have earned in this academic community come from two approved edits on the main page, so I think it is not really appropriate for you as an outsider to request closures of questions in this community. Also please realize that scientific and academic communities are rather different and may have different culture and norms from what is valid on StackOverflow. In particular for scientific/academic communities the approach of trying to make them and their policies/rules exactly isomorphic to StackOverflow is rather unfortunate to say the least...
    – Dilaton
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 20:53
  • In fact scientific/academic communities would work much better, if SE would just provide its software (which is truely amazing) and hosting but otherwise not interfere with the rules, standards, norms of the individual (in particular high-level adacemic) communities.
    – Dilaton
    Commented Feb 2, 2017 at 21:02
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    @Dilaton: You're perfectly within your rights to write your own software and start your own insular, ivory-tower elitist community elsewhere, free of any pesky interference by outsiders. As far as appropriateness goes, I have the absolute right to ask for whatever I wish. Your community, on the other hand, has the absolute right to say no. You sound like one of those so called "free speech" advocates in Berkeley, who considers speech free until it's no longer convenient for you.
    – user8762
    Commented Feb 3, 2017 at 3:28

1 Answer 1


I disagree that this has nothing to do with academia: immigration and visitor status for academics is not always the same as for other groups, and this is an issue that concerns many people. The OP specifically asks whether there are any exceptions/protections for academics: if these existed, it might mean that the answer to this question would differ from answers given to a more general audience.

I also disagree that this is "incredibly localized": many questions here concern policies or standards in individual countries; this one concerns developments in one country that affect individuals from multiple countries. In fact, users are frequently asked/encouraged to tag their questions with particular countries and to mention their country, type of institution, and field of study to go with their questions, because so many answers depend on that information.

I see you have edited your OP to mention bike-shedding: I assure you, for anyone who may be affected by the issues described in the post you reference, this is far, far from a trivial issue like building a bike shed. My first read of your post was that you might have some good points about the fluidity of the situation and the appropriateness of such questions on this site; now, I feel like you are entirely disconnected from the issues facing students and professors in academia, particularly those from other countries.

I also strongly disagree about your mention that this regards legal matters that haven't happened yet: people have already been held up in their source countries or detained at airports, there are reports of people who have been coerced to surrender their documents permanently by signing papers they did not fully understand.

Even though the original OP had some misconceptions about the current implementation of the executive order, there is indeed some immediately actionable advice that academics can use or provide to affected students that are wondering, specifically: there is currently no policy to deport students/professors who are in the US, but people from the affected countries may not be able to return if they do leave regardless of their immigration status. That information can lead to specific, practical advice for potentially affected members of the academic community.

I would also add that other posts related to policies of the current U.S. administration have been rejected by the community when they were too speculative, for example here. In comparison, the question you linked refers to an executive order that has already been issued.

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    I proposed an edit; please roll back if you don't like it. Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 2:47
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    I forgot to explain, the word "actionable" was a bit confusing in its second mention, so I edited that too. "Actionable" sometimes means that legal action could be taken. Here, I think you meant that the part in bold points to a specific action step that could be taken. Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 17:10
  • @aparente001 I have no problem with the edits; the second use of "actionable" was not necessary to the coherence of the paragraph - I used the word "actionable" only because the post I was responding to used that word; my assumption is that the definition intended was "able to be done or acted on; having practical value" rather than legally actionable, because I think it goes without saying that answers on Academia.SE need not always refer users to legal action.
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 17:19
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    Well, the important thing is that you're okay with the edits. // Sometimes legal points do come up here, and I wanted to remove the ambiguity. I was confident I had understood what you were getting at -- although I did have to read your post carefully to make sure. So I wanted to make your post a more effortless read. (It didn't take much tweaking to do so.) // Thanks for the post. Commented Feb 1, 2017 at 17:22

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