598 colleges have ‘concerns’ on Trump travel ban

598 colleges have ‘concerns’ on Trump travel ban
© Getty Images

A coalition of 598 college and university presidents has released a letter voicing “concerns” with President Trump’s temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.

In the letter, sent Friday to Homeland Security Secretary John KellyJohn Francis KellyMORE through the American Council on Education (ACE), the presidents say they are concerned about how the order will affect international students, faculty, researchers and staffers.

“Our nation can only maintain its global scientific and economic leadership position if it encourages those talented people to come here to study and work," the letter says. "America is the greatest magnet for talented people from around the world and it must remain so.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Presidents from Boston College, Michigan State University and Washington State University are among those who signed. It's also backed by multiple higher education associations including the American Association of Community Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

“International exchange is a core value and strength of American higher education,” the letter says.

“Moreover, our nation’s welcoming stance to scholars and scientists has benefited the U.S. through goodwill and a long history of scientific and technological advances that have been essential to the economic growth our country has experienced for decades. When they return home they are ambassadors for American values, democracy and the free market.”

Trump’s executive order last week imposed a 90-day ban on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The directive also froze general refugee admissions into the U.S., adding an indefinite halt on Syrian refugees.

Global debate has since raged over the move, with Democrats and human rights organizations arguing it is unconstitutional and biased against Muslims.

Trump has rejected those assertions, countering his order protects the U.S. from terrorists.

A federal judge in Detroit on Friday ordered the Trump administration to stop enforcing the president’s order.