Dear Barnard Community,
Yesterday, President Trump announced new restrictions on travel to the United States, replacing his previous executive order issued in March. When the restrictions take full effect on October 18, each of eight countries—Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, Venezuela and North Korea—will face its own set of travel restrictions. In most cases, citizens of these countries will be unable to immigrate to the United States, and many will be barred from coming here to work, study or vacation. This action follows visa restrictions on Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea and Sierra Leone, imposed on September 13.
As we have stated before in response to earlier efforts to limit immigration, this latest action undermines Barnard’s commitment to the active engagement of students and scholars from around the globe. It introduces direct and unnecessary obstacles into the lives of those who should have the freedom to travel to this country—and to this campus—to undertake work of real purpose and value and to engage in the open exchange of ideas. Simply put, unwarranted constraints on the ability of international scholars to work and study in the United States is detrimental to our mission and the academic excellence we strive to achieve.
It will take time to fully understand the breadth of implications brought on by this new executive order. We do know that the new action will affect legal challenges that previously delayed full implementation of the March executive order and may render moot certain aspects of the case before the Supreme Court. Please know that we are closely tracking these policy changes and their implications, and we will keep you updated as information becomes available.
Holders of U.S. visas are exempted from the new restrictions for the duration of their current visas. Even so, international students who have any concerns about their visa status or who are contemplating foreign travel should contact Dean Wendy Garay in the Office of International and Intercultural Student Programs, firstname.lastname@example.org. Faculty should consult with Dean Giorgio DiMauro in the Provost’s Office, email@example.com. Robin Beltzer in Human Resources, firstname.lastname@example.org, will assist staff. These administrators can also arrange initial legal consultations for members of the Barnard community, free of charge.
Many of you attended today’s presentations by immigration law expert David Ware. We will continue to organize information sessions as circumstances change. Other resources are listed online.
The creation of knowledge, which sits at the center of a liberal arts education, is enhanced when we embrace a global perspective. This necessitates that individuals with a diversity of ideas, experiences, and cultural backgrounds can participate freely in campus life. Barnard is committed to doing everything we can to support our international students, scholars, and other community members affected by these federal actions.
Sian Leah Beilock