This week I’m in Washington, DC meeting with lawmakers on a wide range of issues including the impact of the recent executive order on immigration and its impact on musicians.
Widely referred to as the “travel ban,” the order puts “extreme vetting” procedures in place for immigrants traveling to the United States from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days, indefinitely halts all immigration from Syria and suspends all refugee immigration into the United States for 120 days.
Many AFM members, whether permanent U.S. residents (e.g., green card holders) or our Canadian bothers and sisters, regularly travel in and out of the United States for work. The implementation of the travel ban has caused uncertainty and confusion among AFM members who travel internationally. That’s why we are currently working with Missouri’s Congressional delegation to help ensure the safe return home for St. Louis Symphony Orchestra musicians, who are scheduled to tour Spain next week.
For decades, AFM has consulted with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on applications by foreign musicians for O and P visas to work in the United States. For AFM’s Canadian members, we have been working diligently with members of Congress to streamline and shorten visa-processing times, but the travel ban could delay our efforts to bring these processing times into focus.
We will continue working hard together with other organizations to make our voices heard on Capitol Hill to protect the interests of all musicians. Musicians standing together have the power.
AFM International President