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University and College respond to executive order; Jenkins urges Trump to rescind

| Saturday, January 28, 2017

The presidents of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College both responded over the weekend to an executive order Donald Trump signed Friday, banning the entry into the U.S. of nationals of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen and Libya for 90 days.

University President Fr. John Jenkins responded to the executive order in a statement Sunday morning, calling it “sweeping, indiscriminate and abrupt.”

“If [the order] stands, it will over time diminish the scope and strength of the educational and research efforts of American universities … and, above all, it will demean our nation, whose true greatness has been its guiding ideals of fairness, welcome to immigrants, compassion for refugees, respect for religious faith and the courageous refusal to compromise its principles in the face of threats,” Jenkins said in the statement.“We respectfully urge the president to rescind this order.”

On Sunday, Saint Mary’s College President Jan Cervelli sent an email to the Saint Mary’s community vocalizing the College’s support to all members of the community.

“President Trump’s recent executive order banning citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States threatens the core values that make our nation a beacon of hope and freedom for people around the world,” Cervelli said in the email. “At Saint Mary’s, and at colleges and universities across America, the contributions of international students and faculty have been immeasurable. Many endure great hardship or personal sacrifice for the opportunity to build a better life and develop their talents here. Saint Mary’s has only benefited from these valued members of our campus community, and the College will continue to support them in their work.”

According to Cervelli, the executive order violates principles that the College aims to uphold.

“To issue a sweeping denial to refugees fleeing war and oppression, on the basis of religion or national origin, goes against the founding ideals that so many have fought and died to preserve,” she said. “Catholic teaching also calls on us to respect the dignity of all people and to welcome the stranger. Saint Mary’s will continue to strive to heed that call.

“Immigration strengthens our campuses, our communities, and our country. We must never let unfounded fear and prejudice weaken our compassion and our commitment to fulfilling the hope that America represents to the world,” she said.

Notre Dame has advised students from the countries listed in the executive order not to leave the United States, according to a message sent by vice president for internationalization Michael Pippenger that was released to the media Saturday night.

“Throughout the weekend, a few clarifications have been made by U.S. government officials, but there remains uncertainty about whether nationals from these countries will be admitted into the United States for the next 90 days, even those holding green cards or those who hold dual citizenship,” Pippenger said in the message to international students.

“We are closely monitoring developments relating to the full impact of this order. Until further notice, we advise any individuals from any of the seven named countries to suspend all planned travel outside the United States,” Pippenger said in the message.

Vice president for public affairs and communication Paul Browne said in a statement that roughly 30 Notre Dame students are affected by the executive order.


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