Schlissel, university presidents from nationwide pen letter dismissing Trump ban

Friday, February 3, 2017 - 4:59pm

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel along with 47 other university and college presidents from the around the country have signed a letter criticizing Trump’s immigration ban, requesting Trump to “rectify or rescind” the executive order.

The executive order was issued on Jan. 27, and most notably bars any entry by immigrants from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria for 90 days, with a possible extension.

This includes students studying in the United States with student visas — a concern voiced in the letter put forth by numerous presidents of colleges and universities.

“The order specifically prevents talented, law-abiding students and scholars from the affected regions from reaching our campuses,” the letter reads. “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.”

The president of the University of Pennsylvania, Amy Gutmann, most recently added her name to the letter, which include presidents from Dartmouth, Harvard, Vanderbilt, among others.

At the University of Michigan there have been a number of responses to the immigration ban.

On Wednesday, hundreds filled the lobby of the Ross School of Business to show support for international students. Last night, students and community members gathered to learn about the rights of green card and visa holders while traveling abroad.

Many opponents of the executive order say it disproportionately affects Muslims, calling it a Muslim ban. The letter addresses this issue, defending the entry of Muslims into the United States.

“This action unfairly targets seven predominantly Muslim countries in a manner inconsistent with America’s best principles and greatest traditions,” the letter says. “We welcome outstanding Muslim students and scholars from the United States and abroad, including the many who come from the seven affected countries.”

Last Saturday, Schlissel issued a statement declaring the University would not release the immigration status of students, as a response to Trump’s executive order. In an interview with the Daily, Schlissel addressed the topic the immigration ban.

“We have students from over 100 countries around the globe,” Schlissel said. “The idea of excluding a significant fraction of the world as being potential members of our community, I think would hurt us.”