on the muslim ban

Town hall meeting on Tuesday 14th at 3 in the Cascade room

On the “Muslim ban”.

Tabakin, Geoffrey A. <gatabakin@stcloudstate.edu>

As a point of Personal Privilege, I ask that these remarks be entered into the record of these proceedings along with the attached motions.  Geoffrey Tabakin Faculty Association Senator

As a refugee from Apartheid South Africa in 1968 I was initially denied entry to the United States of America on the grounds that I had opposed the “Democratic” Government of the Republic of South Africa, an ally in good standing with the United States of America.  Three months — December 1968 to March 1969 — and many adventures homeless on the streets of Montreal I secured a visa and entrance to the USA due to the involvement and action of citizens of the United States.  Refugees, visa holders, and non-citizens with family ties do not have rights of redress through the courts even when agreements have been made.

The plight of individuals in the face of overwhelming political posturing and power needs to be taken into consideration as part of our obligation and responsibility to respond publicly in light of the

Immigration Executive Order signed Friday, January 27 and titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”

With the signing of the Executive Order “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States” on Friday, January 27 we confront an edict both bewildering and stunning as regard our academic standing and our contractual commitments “to engaging as a member of a diverse and multicultural world – a key dimension of Our Husky Compact” (President Vaidya), and the mission of St. Cloud State University.  Islamophobia, religious intolerance, racial and ethnic discrimination are all tied into the Executive Order.  As faculty and academics – to say nothing of community members with moral conscience – we have a responsibility to stand-up and to be heard on the issues.


It should be recognized that as refugees or persons holding visas or even green cards, the individuals seeking refuge and safety are NOT citizens and as such have no legal recourse or appeals. Without choice, without advocacy, without resources, it is the voice of privilege – ours – that must speak out against the perpetuation of this immoral, unjustified, and cruel imposition of a sentence of despair and hopelessness in the midst of terror.  Whether or not the non-refoulement clause* (as enshrined in Article 33 of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and also contained in the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees )is fully enforced, the stark reality is that uncertainty as to status due to the invocation of Islamophobic discrimination permeates our community, our colleagues and our students — indeed any international person subjected to the arbitrariness of border control.

  • “Non-refoulement is a key facet of refugee law, that concerns the protection of refugees from being returned or expelled to places where their lives or freedoms could be threatened. Unlike political asylum,  which applies to those who can prove a well-grounded fear of persecution based on certain category of persons, non-refoulement refers to the generic repatriation of people, including refugees into war zones and other disasterhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-refoulement

In light of these events and the certainty that these attacks will continue in various forms, I offer the following set of motions:


  1. MOVE that the Senate endorses and supports the position of President Vaidya and Chancellor Rosenstone in our unambiguous commitment to diversity and academic integrity.  We call on the faculty association, the administration, other unions, and students to come together in a town hall meeting / “teach in” / “speak out” to address the concerns of our students and colleagues as regard this matter.

WHEREAS the urgency and crisis nature of the situation calls for an immediate public response to ensure that all affected are made aware of our position MOVE that the town hall discussion take place on Tuesday 14th February 2017 (appropriately Valentine’s Day as an act of love and support) in lieu of FA Executive Committee and business as usual.

  1. WHEREAS information regarding the ban is moving very rapidly MOVE that the CARE Initiative Web Site sets up as a repository to link documentation and other pertinent materials concerning this ongoing catastrophe.
  1. MOVE that the IFO and our legal resources develop a statement and policy position on this matter and support the actions taken by the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office challenging this Executive Order;
  1. WHEREAS the matter will be under dispute for some time while lives and hopes are disrupted MOVE to explore means and resources to assist students and colleagues put in jeopardy by the constraints of the Executive Order through the establishment of a campus wide ad hoc Committee on the Protection of Immigrant, International, and DACA — Students, Faculty, Staff, and Administration