U. should support community members affected by immigration ban

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

On Friday, President Donald Trump banned citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. The executive order — made just a week after Trump was officially sworn in as president — has affected the lives of thousands, including many members of our community.

Trump’s order was executed with little thought paid to the legal system that was built to protect the very immigrants it now bans. The purpose of the order is to protect the United States “from foreign terrorist entry into the United States,” though experts, who Trump diligently ignores, have pointed out that the order will be ineffective at doing so.

Thoughtlessness created this situation. Now, careful action is needed to get us out of it.

As a news organization, we have and will continue to cover the effects the ban and the policies of the Trump administration have on our community with truth and care, noting that our community is one of many that has been touched by the executive order.

We encourage the University to use its power as an institution to protect those who are affected by the immigration ban. A number of universities, such as the University of Michigan, New York University and Cornell have publicly voiced the ways that they will be helping their students. Michigan released a statement asserting it would refuse to release the immigration information of any of its students unless required to do so by law. NYU similarly refused to allow the federal government to collect any information on immigrant students sans subpoena. As lawyers flocked to airports across America to work pro bono for those being prepared for deportation, Cornell said it was exploring opening up its law school, offering free legal consultations to students affected by the executive order. We applaud the University for its op-ed in The Herald on Monday that reaffirmed our community’s values in this difficult time, but we call on them to take more concrete steps. While we acknowledge that there may be specific circumstances that prevent Brown from taking the measures established by other colleges, the University should prioritize using its time and energy to keep our community safe.

If you know any students or faculty members affected by this bans, we encourage you to reach out to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services team at 401-863-2427. For non-visa related concerns, contact the Office of Global Engagement at 401-863-1300. Other members of the community should reach out to their local American Civil Liberties Union office for legal assistance.

Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial board: Lauren Aratani ’18, Kate Talerico ’18, Matthew Brownsword ’18 and Rebecca Ellis ’18. Send comments to

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  1. “The list of concerned countries that the Trump administration outlined in the order is based on the one signed into law by the former Obama administration. So, it looks like the Obama White House set the groundwork

    Clearly there was a recognized homeland security problem for some time: the potential hazard of allowing in Muslim immigrants and refugees from the seven identified countries, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen. But when Obama selected this “blacklist,” few knew. Why? Because of the media’s agenda. It was okay for the Obama Democrats to introduce this list, but it is not okay for Trump to follow through.

    The Obama administration also “stopped processing Iraqi visas for six months in 2011,” which turned out to be a good call, as “al-Qaeda operatives feigned refugee status to get relocated to Bowling Green, Kentucky.”

  2. “How, though, did the Trump administration choose these seven Muslim-majority countries? The truth is it didn’t: The countries were chosen during Barack Obama’s presidency.

    According to the draft copy of Trump’s executive order, the countries whose citizens are barred entirely from entering the United States is based on a bill that Obama signed into law in December 2015.

    Obama signed the Visa Waiver Program Improvement and Terrorist Travel Prevention Act as part of an omnibus spending bill. The legislation restricted access to the Visa Waiver Program, which allows citizens from 38 countries who are visiting the United States for less than 90 days to enter without a visa.”

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