Regarding the Executive Order on Immigration

January 29,  2017

To the Rutgers Community:

The executive order issued by President Donald Trump on Friday regarding federal immigration practices and policies has caused understandable concern and confusion within our community. The executive order in part bars entry or re-entry to the United States of all citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Rutgers, as a leading international research university, has students, researchers and faculty members who are citizens of the countries on this “barred entry” list; some in this group were traveling outside the U.S. when the executive order went into effect. We are working to resolve questions regarding their status.

The situation remains very fluid. Several federal courts have issued rulings temporarily suspending portions of the executive order. The White House today indicated that the executive order would not apply to green card holders. Indeed, the application of President Trump’s executive order and the subsequent decisions by federal courts have left us all with more questions than answers about how those actions will impact the students, faculty, researchers and staff at Rutgers.

We are not alone in this matter. There are an estimated 17,000 international students at U.S. colleges and universities from the seven countries identified in the executive order. We share the view of many of our peer institutions who have argued strongly that many aspects of the executive order run counter to the academic and social mission of higher education.

We know that members of the community who are not citizens of the U.S., as well as citizens who expect to be traveling to countries covered by the current ban, have legitimate questions about undertaking international travel.

We strongly advise that students, scholars, faculty and staff who are considering such travel or who have questions about their status should seek professional advice. Rutgers Center for Global Services can offer a range of services designed to advise, counsel and help protect members of our community while traveling abroad. Rutgers Immigrant Rights Clinic (973-353-5292) can confidentially answer questions regarding immigration law or other related concerns.  

I know, too, that this is a time of stress for many members of our community and would like to reiterate that students who feel anxious or upset may always seek assistance from counseling professionals at the student health services locations in Camden, Newark, and New Brunswick. Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care also offers 24/7 counseling and can be reached at 800-969-5300.

The status of the executive order, its effect and implementation are changing hourly. We will keep you informed as this matter unfolds.


Robert Barchi