UMass Amherst Working to Assist International Community Members Affected by Executive Order Restricting Immigration

January 30, 2017

AMHERST, Mass. – The University of Massachusetts Amherst, committed to the welfare and success of all members of its community, including more than 3,000 international students, scholars and staff from 117 countries, is providing outreach and support following the President’s Executive Order restricting entry to the U.S. by citizens of seven countries.

University officials are working to assist one graduate student, one undergraduate student and one visiting scholar who have been unable to enter the United States following the president’s order. The university’s International Programs Office (IPO) is in contact with the two international students, all from Iran, and the visiting scholar from Syria, to help them assess the president’s order and what means they might pursue to gain legal entry to the United States. IPO is also providing support and regular updates on immigration matters to international students.

Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy said, “Our international faculty, students and staff are deeply valued members of the UMass Amherst community. As we grapple with many fundamental questions that go to the heart of our ideals as Americans and our role in the world, I want to make clear that we will do everything within our legal and moral authority to protect our community members, no matter their national origin, race, religion, socioeconomic status, sexual identity or immigration status.”

The chancellor noted that he is working closely with the UMass system office as well as national organizations such as the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities to assess the impact of the “extreme vetting” executive order and related legal challenges.

This academic year, UMass Amherst has 2,862 international students under UMass immigration sponsorship in addition to more than 500 international scholars and employees being sponsored.

Iranian nationals, who are among the residents of seven countries facing immigration restrictions, represent a notable population at UMass Amherst. Currently, the campus has 77 Iranian nationals under immigration sponsorship, including one undergraduate, 72 graduate students and four scholars. The university also sponsors two graduate students from Syria and one graduate student from Sudan.