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Forum on Executive Order on Immigration

Neeli Bendapudi, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Monday, January 30, 2017, 6:18 p.m.
KU Lawrence Staff, Faculty and Affiliates
All KU Lawrence and Edwards Students

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

On Friday, January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) titled, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” This Executive Order, effective immediately, prohibits U.S. entry for the next 90 days of all nationals of Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen. It was broadly understood that this ban included all citizens of those countries, including dual nationals, as well as U.S. permanent residents who have retained their citizenship with the listed counties. On Sunday, January 29th, the Department of Homeland Security reversed the action against U.S. permanent residents, deeming them and their entry critical to the national interest. At this time, only Boston’s Logan airport seems to be proceeding with this updated directive.

In addition to this 90-day ban on entry, the EO suspends the admission to the United States of all refugees for a period of 4 months and suspends the admission of all Syrian refugees indefinitely. Currently under review (but not yet acted upon), is the suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program, which allows travelers from 38 countries to renew their travel permission without an in-person interview at a U.S. consulate.

The University of Kansas recognizes the significant impact of this Executive Order. Indeed, the entire university is affected by Friday’s executive action and we stand firmly against any form of discrimination. As a leading international research university, our students, faculty, and staff stand together as a global community of scholarship. Our discoveries, our challenges, our futures depend upon us working together to advance the world. An Executive Order of this magnitude impacts our classrooms, our research, and our ability to establish the scholarly ties so critical to our mission and vision as a university.

We are working actively with our associations, partner universities, and both federal and state authorities to fully outline the impact of this Executive Order and to work toward a positive resolution. We will keep the campus community apprised of developments as they occur. At this time, we strongly discourage travel to the affected countries until the implications of that travel are made clear. This is especially important for students, faculty and staff with citizenship ties to the 7 countries listed in the Executive Order. We also recommend, at least for the time being and if at all possible, entering the United States through Boston’s Logan airport to ensure smooth port-of-entry for all U.S. permanent residents.

In light of the fluctuating regulatory environment we are in, I want to reassure the community that the Lawrence and Edward Campuses will not be changing its admissions or hiring practices; the issuance of university sponsorship documents for students, visiting scholars, or employees applying for U.S. entry visas; or the services we provide to all international members of our community and their hosting units. It is important to remember that the Executive Order signed on Friday only relates to the U.S. entry of refugees and nationals from the seven affected countries.

International Programs will be actively communicating updates and information as it is available. All information will also be posted on the International Programs website. I encourage you to reach out to International Programs directly, and specifically to Interim Associate Vice Provost for International Programs, Charles Bankart (cbankart@ku.edu), if you have any questions or concerns. We also need to know directly if you know of scholars, students, or other members of our community who are stranded abroad due to this Executive Order. We want to reach out to those in need and serve as their advocates in this quickly changing environment.

On Wednesday afternoon, my office will be hosting an informational forum on the Executive Order titled, “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” This will be held in Watson Library 3 West at 5:30 p.m. We will have campus leaders from the Provost Office, International Programs, and all of the schools present. We will also have immigration experts and KU international student and scholar advisors on hand to brief the group on what we know, what we do not know and to discuss your concerns. I encourage all members of our community to attend. This event will be live-streamed to the Edwards Campus as well.


Neeli Bendapudi
Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

Office of the Provost
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