The ISA put up a policy in reaction to this weekend's news. And, of course, the first draft is inadequate. I get it that this stuff is hard.
First, it puts the onus on scholars to test the US government's refugee ban--that one has to be denied entry to get a refund. Seriously? People have to spend the money to fly to the US and then find themselves detained? Or they have to go to their airport and not get on a plane? This will make it hard to get refunds from airports and hotels, instead of planning ahead and changing all of their plans, which might mitigate the costs.
Second, I get that the ISA is not a political organization--I pushed last year for it not to take a BDS stance. But this is an academic freedom thing more than a political issue--that our students and our colleagues will either be stuck in the US for fear of not being let in OR they will not be able to come to the US because of these restrictions.
There are times that call for leadership, rather than risk mitigation, and this is one of those. Will the ISA stand up for those who are harmed by these policies? Will it stand up for the threat to academic freedom? I'd hope so, but maybe that is expecting too much?