Trump travel ban is ‘dimming the lamp of liberty’

Heads of US universities unite to condemn US president’s executive order

February 3, 2017
Donald Trump
Source: iStock

Forty-eight prominent US university presidents have written to Donald Trump urging him to rescind his controversial executive order, introduced on 27 January, which bars immigrants and non-immigrant visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

Since the order was signed, US universities and universities around the world have condemned Mr Trump, describing the travel ban as “hateful”, “misguided” and “harmful”.

The letter, and details of all signatories, are reproduced in full below.

 

Dear President Trump: 

We write as presidents of leading American colleges and universities to urge you to rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country’s borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world. If left in place, the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country.

The order specifically prevents talented, law-abiding students and scholars from the affected regions from reaching our campuses. American higher education has benefited tremendously from this country’s long history of embracing immigrants from around the world. Their innovations and scholarship have enhanced American learning, added to our prosperity, and enriched our culture. Many who have returned to their own countries have taken with them the values that are the lifeblood of our democracy. America’s educational, scientific, economic, and artistic leadership depends upon our continued ability to attract the extraordinary people who for many generations have come to this country in search of freedom and a better life.

This action unfairly targets seven predominantly Muslim countries in a manner inconsistent with America’s best principles and greatest traditions. We welcome outstanding Muslim students and scholars from the United States and abroad, including the many who come from the seven affected countries. Their vibrant contributions to our institutions and our country exemplify the value of the religious diversity that has been a hallmark of American freedom since this country’s founding. The American dream depends on continued fidelity to that value.

We recognize and respect the need to protect America’s security. The vetting procedures already in place are rigorous. Improvements to them should be based on evidence, calibrated to real risks, and consistent with constitutional principle.

Throughout its history America has been a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom in the world. It has attracted talented people to our shores and inspired people around the globe. This executive order is dimming the lamp of liberty and staining the country’s reputation. We respectfully urge you to rectify the damage done by this order.

Sincerely, 

Robert L. Barchi
President
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

 

Kimberly W. Benston
President
Haverford College

 

Joanne Berger-Sweeney  
President
Trinity College

 

George Blumenthal
Chancellor
University of California, Santa Cruz 

 

Lee C. Bollinger
President
Columbia University

 

Richard H. Brodhead
President
Duke University 

 

Robert A. Brown
President
Boston University

 

Kimberly Wright Cassidy
President
Bryn Mawr College 

 

Ronald J. Daniels
President
Johns Hopkins University

 

John J. DeGioia
President
Georgetown University 

 

Nicholas B. Dirks
Chancellor
University of California, Berkeley

 

Christopher L. Eisgruber
President
Princeton University

 

Adam F. Falk
President
Williams College

 

Drew Gilpin Faust
President
Harvard University

 

Patrick Gallagher
Chancellor
University of Pittsburgh

 

Howard Gillman
Chancellor
University of California, Irvine 

 

Amy Gutmann
President
University of Pennsylvania

 

Andrew Hamilton
President
New York University 

 

Philip J. Hanlon
President
Dartmouth College

 

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
University of California, San Francisco 

 

Ralph J. Hexter
Interim Chancellor
University of California, Davis

 

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President
University of Notre Dame

 

Pradeep K. Khosla
Chancellor
University of California, San Diego

 

Marvin Krislov
President
Oberlin College

 

David W. Leebron
President
Rice University

 

Ron Liebowitz
President
Brandeis University

 

Wallace D. Loh
President
University of Maryland, College Park

 

Anthony P. Monaco
President
Tufts University

 

David Oxtoby
President
Pomona College

 

Christina H. Paxson
President
Brown University

 

Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.
President
Franklin & Marshall College

 

Carol Quillen
President
Davidson College

 

Hunter R. Rawlings III
Interim President
Cornell University

 

Clayton Rose
President
Bowdoin College

 

Peter Salovey
President
Yale University

 

Michael H. Schill
President
University of Oregon

 

Mark Schlissel M.D., Ph.D.
President
University of Michigan

 

Valerie Smith
President
Swarthmore College 

 

Barbara R. Snyder
President
Case Western Reserve University

 

Debora L. Spar
President
Barnard College 

 

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.
President
Stony Brook University

 

Sonya Stephens
Acting President
Mount Holyoke College

 

Claire E. Sterk
President
Emory University

 

Mark Tessier-Lavigne
President
Stanford University 

 

Satish K. Tripathi
President
University at Buffalo

 

Mark S. Wrighton
Chancellor
Washington University in St Louis

 

Henry T. Yang
Chancellor
University of California, Santa Barbara

 

Nicholas S. Zeppos
Chancellor
Vanderbilt University

Read more: Trump makes funding threat to UC Berkeley

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