SAA Statement on Executive Order Restricting Entry into the United States by Individuals from Seven Muslim-Majority Countries

January 31, 2017—The Society of American Archivists strongly opposes the discriminatory executive order, issued by the Trump Administration on Friday, January 27, 2017, that restricts entry into the United States by individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen). “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" directly affects members of our community with whom we work and serve, including archival colleagues, students, faculty, researchers, donors, and their families.

Archivists embrace diversity and work actively to ensure that we serve all in society. We oppose actions that discriminate against individuals or threaten individual rights. This ban undermines archivists’ efforts to preserve diverse archives and support the study of our nation’s cultural heritage. It inhibits archivists from enacting and realizing our Core Values, such as access for all, diversity of the profession and the historical record, and the right to privacy. As examples, this executive order may prevent international archival researchers, students, and staff from traveling to and from the United States; subject international archival researchers to intrusive screenings of their private information; intimidate marginalized communities from preserving and sharing their archival records; or disrupt the lives and work of archivists and archival students and faculty who are green card holders.

SAA will continue to work with a variety of individuals, groups, and allied organizations to ensure that our voices are heard on these issues. In the coming weeks and months, SAA’s Committee on Public Policy will examine in depth the impact of the current Administration’s recent decisions on numerous issues affecting our work as archivists. These include questions of continuing access to federal data, transparency and accountability of government, adherence to federal records management regulations, privacy, and more.

Relevant Policy Briefs and Statements:

SAA Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics:

SAA Statement on Diversity and Inclusion:

SAA Public Policy Agenda:

SAA Criteria for Advocacy Statement:


This statement was approved by the SAA Council on January 31, 2017. If you have questions or comments, contact