To the University community:
On Friday, the White House issued an executive order prohibiting people from seven countries from entering the United States. Late Saturday night a federal judge in New York issued a temporary order limiting the enforcement of the executive order with respect to persons holding valid visas, persons already accepted into U.S. refugee programs, and other persons previously authorized to be in the United States. A federal judge in Virginia issued a similar order protecting persons with permanent resident status and arriving at Dulles International Airport. The situation remains fluid with additional court orders in other states, and will continue to evolve in the coming days. At UVA, we are taking numerous steps to respond to these developments and to other emerging changes in immigration laws and policies that could affect members of our community.
We have communicated individually with UVA’s students and scholars who are from the seven countries affected by the executive order and advised them not to travel abroad until we know more about the specific practices that will be implemented as a result of the executive order. We have communicated with the larger population of international students as well. Also, UVA leaders met with our Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students on Friday to welcome them back for the spring semester and to offer our ongoing support. At the same time, we are consulting with University leaders and others with expertise related to these issues, and we are seeking advice from the immigration attorneys appointed by the Commonwealth of Virginia to serve the state’s public universities.
Any international student, scholar, or other community member with concerns may consult with UVA’s International Studies Office. Any faculty or staff member on an H-1B or green card may consult with UVA’s Human Resources office. Contact information follows this message. In the coming days, we will hold a University-wide forum to share information on the executive order and to address questions.
Beyond our concern for individual students, faculty, and staff at UVA who are affected by the executive order, we are concerned about the larger effect this and related actions may have on American universities, including UVA, as we seek to expose students to international experiences. Being a great university in the 21st century means being a global university, and our entire University community is enriched and enlightened by interacting with teachers and students from other nations. Providing these experiences is an investment in the future as we seek to build international cooperation and peace. Higher education leaders around the world continue to emulate America’s colleges and universities because of the excellence we have achieved in teaching, research, and innovation, and an essential element of that excellence is our openness to people from other nations. Our University continues to enunciate values that support the bedrock principles of individual freedom, including freedom of expression and freedom of religion.
The Association of American Universities (AAU) has issued a statement concerning these issues here. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has issued a statement here. We join our higher education colleagues in expressing concern about recent policy initiatives that affect members of our University community and peers elsewhere.
As we continue to work on these issues, please join us in expressing support to the members of UVA’s international community who are so essential to the vitality of our University.
Teresa Sullivan, President
Tom Katsouleas, Executive Vice President and Provost
UVA International Studies Office
208 Minor Hall
UVA Human Resources Office
Manager, Compliance & Immigration Services