Publication Date

May 8, 2007

The Chronicle’s News Blog reports that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has approved Bolivian historian Dr. Waskar Ari’s employment-visa petition, which the University of Nebraska at Lincoln filed for him nearly two years ago. But the work has just begun, since this approval “simply means that the historian, Waskar T. Ari, can now apply for a visa from the State Department to enter the United States.” This new development is a small victory, but offers a bit of hope for those who have been fighting for Ari since 2005.

Last March, the University of Nebraska at Lincoln filed a lawsuit against the government on behalf of Ari, who had been hired by the university as an assistant professor in 2005. Ari, who received his PhD from Georgetown University in 2004, is a member of the Aymara indigenous people of Bolivia and is “a specialist in the culture and social movements of Latin America’s indigenous peoples.” The University of Nebraska petitioned the government for Ari’s visa in June of 2005, and he was subsequently listed as individual under “conspicuous revision,” meaning, “he is being subjected to extensive background checks due to alleged security concerns” (as explained in the AHA letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice). There is no time limit on this process, so Nebraska filed the suit in an attempt to get the government to respond to the visa petition. Read more about the lawsuit from UNL’s web site, which contains links to numerous media stories and documents, and see the AHA’s past press release on the visa situation, which includes the letter sent by the AHA to the Departments of State and Homeland Security.

Update:Waskar Ari Finally Wins Visa

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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