Many of you have understandably expressed concern and anxiety about the impact of the U.S. Presidential Executive Order that for the next 90 days bans visa and green card holders of seven countries from entering the United States. Those countries are Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. The executive order also halts the admission of all refugees to the United States for four months.
There is much confusion and uncertainty over the implications of the executive order. As reported in the press today, courts have already issued emergency stays of some aspects of the executive order. We are very closely monitoring developments and have sought direct guidance from the state Attorney General’s Office on the range of issues and deep concerns affecting our students, faculty, staff and community that may stem from the order. Virginia Attorney General Herring has issued a public statement indicating that he is working with the governor to explore “any options we may have to oppose this un-American, discriminatory, and misguided action.”
We have joined with hundreds of other higher education leaders to call for continued protections and access for our students affected by the DACA program, and the university is working broadly to examine how we can support our community members affected by this new executive order.
In the interim, as a practical matter we join universities from around the country in recommending that students, faculty and staff from the restricted countries avoid non-essential travel outside the United States until the full implications of the situation are clarified unless they consult with an immigration attorney. VCU’s Global Education Office Immigration Services also is available for information at (804) 828-8471.
The international members of our community enrich our academic, research and clinical missions while serving to actualize VCU’s core value of diversity. Our commitment to our international students, faculty, staff and patients is unwavering. We will continue to do everything within the law to support and advocate for the international members of our community.