ACLU of Florida Condemns New Law Limiting International Travel and Academic Research

Affiliate: ACLU of Florida
June 2, 2006 12:00 am

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MIAMI – Today, Gov. Jeb Bush signed SB 2434 (Relating to Travel to Terrorist States) into law. The measure hampers the academic study of countries that are vital to national security by prohibiting the use of state university and community college funding from being used for travel to “terrorist states.” The law applies to funding not only from the government but other sources as well.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida released the following statement, which can be attributed to Florida ACLU Executive Director Howard Simon:

“This will be another embarrassing mark on Florida’s reputation. Research on nations that our government labels as ‘terrorist’ is important — and when the research focuses on the language, economy, politics and religion of these countries, it may even be important for the national security of the United States.

“Not only does the ban on research that the Governor approved today intrude politics into academic research, it may also interfere with the policies of the federal government, as when the federal government supports academic work with non-governmental organizations with the object of facilitating a peaceful transition to democracy.”

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