Messages about Executive Order on Immigration

To:         Penn Students, Faculty, and Staff

From:    Provost Vincent Price

              Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli

              Vice Provost for Global Initiatives Ezekiel Emanuel

              Vice Provost for Education Beth Winkelstein

Subject: Message about Executive Order on Immigration

Recent changes to federal policy suspending immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen have raised concerns for many members of the Penn community. We share these concerns and are working with outside counsel to clarify the implications for nationals from these countries who are currently at Penn and for those who might be planning to travel to or attend Penn. We advise all nationals from the affected countries to defer travel until there is some clarification of the situation. We urge passport holders, citizens, nationals, dual nationals, etc. from the impacted countries and their supervisors and advisors to reach out to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services for guidance on travel outside the United States and to discuss additional specific questions resulting from the immigration suspension.

We understand that rapid changes in immigration policy create uncertainty and apprehension for our international students and scholars and the entire Penn community. Penn remains fully committed to these valued members of our community, and to engaging globally to bring the best scholars and students from around the world to our campus. At the same time, we will be working to express our concerns about the effects of recent policy actions on our community, as well as our view that rapid changes in immigration policy create uncertainty for those who are eager to come to the United States to learn and to participate in research and the global exchange of knowledge. We will continue to monitor changes in federal immigration policy and provide timely updates to the Penn community.

Penn is dedicated to ensuring that all international members of our community thrive on our campus. A list of resource offices appears below, and we encourage you to be in contact with these offices for more information, to answer questions, and to secure support. 



To: Faculty, Staff and Students

From: Amy Gutmann, President

Subject: Immigration Restrictions

As a follow-up to the message that we sent earlier today regarding the Administration’s executive order on immigration, I wanted to share with you a statement, issued by the Association of American Universities, that Penn strongly supports. Penn is an active member of the AAU, which represents the 62 most distinguished research universities in North America.

The issue of immigration and a well-functioning visa system is a critically important one for all of higher education. At the same time as our dedicated staff and faculty here at Penn work with us to support the international students who are on our campus from affected countries and others, our team also is reaching out to our government officials to express concern about the negative impact that this order is causing for Penn and our country’s mission of higher education. The AAU statement, which is printed below, summarizes the concerns that we will be expressing to our government officials, and so I thought it important to share it with you.

Following is a statement by Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman.

We recognize the importance of a strong visa process to our nation’s security. However, the administration’s new order barring the entry or return of individuals from certain countries is already causing damage and should end as quickly as possible. The order is stranding students who have been approved to study here and are trying to get back to campus, and threatens to disrupt the education and research of many others.

We also urge the Administration, as soon as possible, to make clear to the world that the United States continues to welcome the most talented individuals from all countries to study, teach, and carry out research and scholarship at our universities. It is vital to our economy and the national interest that we continue to attract the best students, scientists, engineers, and scholars. That is why we have worked closely with previous administrations, especially in the wake of 9/11, to ensure our visa system prevents entry by those who wish to harm us, while maintaining the inflow of talent that has contributed so much to our nation.

Other countries have set the goal of surpassing the United States as the global leader in higher education, research, and innovation. Allowing them to replace this country as the prime destination for the most talented students and researchers would cause irreparable damage, and help them to achieve their goal of global leadership.


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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities comprises62 distinguished institutions that continually advance society through education, research, and discovery. Our universities earn the majority of competitively awarded funding for federal academic research, and are improving human life and wellbeing through research and by educating tomorrow’s visionary leaders and global citizens. AAU members collectively help shape policy for higher education, science and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of research universities to society.