The LSA has welcomed linguists from around the world to its Annual Meetings since 1924. That proud tradition of hospitality and openness to international scholarly exchange will continue in 2017 and beyond.

The Society is deeply concerned about recent orders issued by the US Executive Office seeking to limit travel by scholars from selected countries to conferences and educational institutions. In response, the LSA has joined with colleagues from more than 160 scientific societies in opposition to this order. In addition, the Society has also issued a separate statement of opposition addressing the unique implications of this order for linguistic scholars. As the order has been challenged in court and its enforcement status is subject to change, the LSA will continue to closely monitor developments and respond accordingly.

If the order should prevent any linguists from attending the Annual Meeting, the Society will do everything it can to facilitate remote access to the presentations. Our ability to provide this level of access will depend, in part, on the willingness of the linguistics community to lend its support.

The LSA has requested assurances from Visit Salt Lake -- the Salt Lake City Convention & Visitors Bureau -- concerning the potential welcome Annual Meeting attendees may expect.  In fact, Salt Lake City has a unique perspective on this issue, reflecting Utah's history as haven for refugees fleeing religious persecuction.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski has been an outspoken opponent of the Trump Administration's proposed immigration policy and has upheld Salt Lake City's status as a safe and welcoming community for all. The Mayor's office and the Chief of Police have reaffirmed the Police Department's longstanding practice of carrying out their work without regard to the ethnicity or immigration status of the individuals they deal with on a daily basis.  Utahns themselves staged a mass rally at the Utah State Capitol in opposition to the Executive Orders on immigration and travel.  The mayor offered her reassurances to the group.

In addition, the Salt Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and World Trade Center of Utah have sent an open letter to the Utah Congressional delegation (.pdf) expressing their concern about recent policy shifts with respect to trade and immigration. 

We understand that linguists outside the US are eager to express their opposition to this order, and may be considering a symbolic boycott of LSA meetings and institutes in the US. Before taking such action, the unquestionable harm to the LSA and the field of linguistics should be weighed against the potential effect such actions could have on the US executive office, and perhaps unnecessarily, if the executive order is affirmed as unconstitutional within the coming months.

Click here to see some special ways you can support the LSA financially in its policy work and to ensure the ability of scholars from countries affected by the propsed ban to access the academic content of the Annual Meeting.  And click here to see some other ways you can help the LSA advocate for linguistic policy.