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Published February 2, 2017

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
United States of America

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 country’s 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 country’s 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. America’s 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 America’s 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 country’s founding. The American dream depends on continued fidelity to that value.

We recognize and respect the need to protect America’s security. The vetting procedures already in place are rigorous. Improvements to them should be based on evidence, calibrated to real risks, and consistent with constitutional principle.

Throughout its history America has been a land of opportunity and a beacon of freedom in the world. It has attracted talented people to our shores and inspired people around the globe. This executive order is dimming the lamp of liberty and staining the country’s reputation. We respectfully urge you to rectify the damage done by this order.

Sincerely,

 

Robert L. Barchi
President
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President
Trinity College

Lee C. Bollinger
President
Columbia University

Robert A. Brown
President
Boston University

Ronald J. Daniels
President
Johns Hopkins University

Nicholas B. Dirks
Chancellor
University of California, Berkeley

Adam F. Falk
President
Williams College

Patrick Gallagher
Chancellor
University of Pittsburgh

Amy Gutmann
President
University of Pennsylvania

Philip J. Hanlon
President
Dartmouth College

Ralph J. Hexter
Interim Chancellor
University of California, Davis

Pradeep K. Khosla
Chancellor
University of California, San Diego

David W. Leebron
President
Rice University

Wallace D. Loh
President
University of Maryland, College Park

David Oxtoby
President
Pomona College

Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D.
President
Franklin & Marshall College

Hunter R. Rawlings III
Interim President
Cornell University

Peter Salovey
President
Yale University

Mark Schlissel M.D., Ph.D.
President
University of Michigan

Barbara R. Snyder
President
Case Western Reserve University

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.
President
Stony Brook University

Claire E. Sterk
President
Emory University

Satish K. Tripathi
President
University at Buffalo

Henry T. Yang
Chancellor
University of California, Santa Barbara

Kimberly W. Benston
President
Haverford College


George Blumenthal
Chancellor
University of California, Santa Cruz

Richard H. Brodhead
President
Duke University

Kimberly Wright Cassidy
President
Bryn Mawr College

John J. DeGioia
President
Georgetown University

Christopher L. Eisgruber
President
Princeton University

Drew Gilpin Faust
President
Harvard University

Howard Gillman
Chancellor
University of California, Irvine

Andrew Hamilton
President
New York University

Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Chancellor
University of California, San Francisco

Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C.
President
University of Notre Dame

Marvin Krislov
President
Oberlin College

Ron Liebowitz
President
Brandeis University

Anthony P. Monaco
President
Tufts University

Christina H. Paxson
President
Brown University

Carol Quillen
President
Davidson College

Clayton Rose
President
Bowdoin College

Michael H. Schill
President
University of Oregon

Valerie Smith
President
Swarthmore College

Debora L. Spar
President
Barnard College

Sonya Stephens
Acting President
Mount Holyoke College

Marc Tessier-Lavigne
President
Stanford University

Mark S. Wrighton
Chancellor
Washington University in St. Louis

Nicholas S. Zeppos
Chancellor
Vanderbilt University