Statement on Executive Order

Statement on immigration order from the Society for Economic Botany Council

The Society for Economic Botany, based in the United Stated of America, was founded in 1959, and relies on the membership of over 700 individuals from 64 countries. SEB serves as the world's largest and most-respected professional society for individuals who are concerned with botanical, phytochemical and ethnological studies of plants known to be useful, or those which may have potential uses thus far undeveloped.

Traditional knowledge about useful plants all over the globe, in communities we and our collaborators work with, is held by people of all ethnicities, races, genders, faiths, and sexual orientations, both in urban and rural settings, by long term residents and migrants.

SEB strongly believes in diversity, and warmly welcomes members, including immigrants and refugees, irrespective of their national origin. We believe that the free sharing of ideas is at the very core of our work. As such, the current restrictions on free movement will greatly restrict our ability to conduct research, and help to preserve this knowledge for future generations. Every single part of the recent executive order - the 90-day ban on citizens from seven nations entering the U.S.; the suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program; the long-term ban on Syrian refugees entering the U.S.; the 120-day ban on all refugees entering the U.S.; and the 50,000-person cap on refugees for 2017, will have negative effects on our work, and on the communities we work with, for whom we deeply care.

We wholeheartedly share the sentiments expressed in the statement from the Association of American Universities and our colleagues from the Society of Ethnobiology regarding the recent Executive Order on immigration. Welcoming immigrants from all over the world, has always been the very core of the fabric of society of the United States, and has over centuries helped to build this country.

The Executive Order titled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry” signed on January 27, 2017 goes against all ethical principles, and as such undermines the very base of U.S. society and values. The Society for Economic Botany therefore opposes the discriminatory Executive Order selectively banning refugees and immigrants from traveling into the United States.