University Leaders Call President Trump's Immigration Order

Almost 50 university presidents on Thursday sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to rescind his controversial executive order banning immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries and suspending the country#8217s refugee program.

#8220If left in place, the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country,#8221 they wrote in the letter, which was signed by the presidents of 48 colleges and universities, including all eight Ivy League schools, Stanford, Georgetown and Tufts.

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The order drew immediate global backlash. Some universities spoke out against the ban, as students or professors became stranded while traveling abroad, unable to return to the U.S. because of the order. In the long run, the order could also have a negative financial impact on universities.

#8220We welcome outstanding Muslim students and scholars from the United States and abroad, including the many who come from the seven affected countries,#8221 the letter said. #8220Their 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 countryrsquos founding.#8221

Read the complete letter here:

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 countryrsquos 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 countryrsquos 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. Americarsquos 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 Americarsquos 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 countryrsquos founding. The American dream depends on continued fidelity to that value.

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