Chancellor's statements | Immigration | LGBTQ | - ALL -

On Dec. 4, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the most recent iteration of President Trump’s “Presidential Proclamation” (aka “Travel Ban 3.0”). This specific travel ban was officially called a “Presidential Proclamation” on Sept. 24, 2017, but it underscored similar and specific travel restrictions that began in January 2017 and continued through September 2017, and were frequently referred to as Executive Orders or Executive Actions.

In light of President Trump’s decision today to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or DACA, which provides deportation relief for undocumented immigrants who came to this country as children, I want to reassure our entire campus community that my administration and I will do everything within our power to provide the support necessary for our most vulnerable students to pursue their educational advancement.

The United States Supreme Court issued an opinion on June 26 that allows parts of President Trump’s most recent Executive Order to go into effect. The Supreme Court will consider further actions on the case in October 2017.

UMass System immigration counsel Attorney Sandra Torres will host an information session for the UMass international community focusing on current U.S. immigration regulations and knowing your rights as a non-U.S. citizen.

Dear Senator Warren, Senator Markey, and Members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation:

We write to express our grave concerns about the recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcement that it will temporarily suspend applications for expedited processing of H-1B visas as of April 3, 2017 for up to six months. Respectfully, we urge that you seek an exemption for our institutions, which are adversely affected by this suspension.

On Friday evening, March 3, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it will temporarily suspend Premium Processing for all H-1B petitions effective April 3, 2017.

Our nondiscrimination policy includes “gender identity and expression,” and the university will continue to seek to provide a safe and nondiscriminatory environment for all students, including trans students. We provide access to facilities and respect students’ pronouns and names consistent with their gender identity, even if their education records or identification documents indicate a different sex.

The UMass Amherst administration is committed to supporting all students, faculty and staff, regardless of their immigration status, and the campus has initiated a number of steps to safeguard members of our community.

Vital to that process is a campus task force that is coordinating responses to executive orders and changes in related federal policies. Today, I am announcing that this group will be chaired by John McCarthy, vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School.

On Thursday evening, February 9, the 9th Federal District Court in San Francisco unanimously denied an appeal by the U.S. government to lift a nationwide Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the President’s Executive Action barring travel and related immigration benefits to citizens and nationals of 7 countries (Iran, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Iraq) who have been directly affected by the recent action.

For the past week there has been tremendous uncertainty and disruption regarding the President’s January 27, 2017 Executive Action. As our Chancellor underscored a few days ago, UMass is absolutely committed to international education and the continued free flow of ideas, culture and people.

University of Massachusetts Amherst graduate student Mohsen Hosseini was welcomed back to the U.S. today by university officials at Logan International Airport, culminating a weeklong series of legal and other support in response to the president’s executive order seeking to restrict entry to the U.S. by citizens of seven countries.

Read the full letter sent by Governor Charles Baker to John F. Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security regarding immigration and refugee executive order.

In the week since I last wrote regarding the dramatic and unprecedented shifts in federal policy brought on by the presidential transition, the effects of President Trump’s executive order on immigration have been felt far and wide. With travelers stranded at airports, families separated, and our own international students and scholars facing unimaginable stress and uncertainty, I want to make it absolutely clear that I will do everything in my power to support and protect every member of our diverse campus community.


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