To UA students and employees,
The University of Arizona community has serious concerns about provisions of the January 27, 2017 Executive Order suspending nonimmigrant and immigrant visas from specific countries and suspending the United States’ refugee program. The Order also leaves the status of green card holders working in this country legally ambiguous while suspending admission to the United States of foreign nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for at least 90 days.
We have received reports of students from other universities, as well as highly prized scholars, who were airborne en route to the U.S. at the time the Order was signed being detained upon arrival. We have also heard from University of Arizona students who are afraid to travel abroad, despite the legality of their visas, and we are deeply concerned for the well-being and treatment of our foreign students, scholars, researchers and professors. This approach violates the principles on which international university communities of thought, learning and research are based and will jeopardize the very mission and purpose of the university.
We oppose the Executive Order and believe that lawsuits challenging it will be successful. At least one temporary restraining order related to provisions of the Order has already been issued.
The Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the American Council of Education (ACE) are all working to persuade policymakers to address our concerns, and we all understand the importance of America’s historic leading role in education, research and learning, including students and scholars from around the world. The present challenge is no exception to this important role.
We recommend that international students and scholars at the University of Arizona postpone any planned international travel until this matter is resolved. The UA Office of Global Initiatives has been responding to inquiries throughout the weekend and is working to identify those in our community who are on personal travel and may be affected by the order and need our assistance.
Ann Weaver Hart
President, University of Arizona