As you are aware, on Friday, January 27, President Trump issued an executive order that immediately suspended entry to the United States by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for at least 90 days and halted the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. The situation continues to evolve as federal courts have issued temporary stays and the ACLU and others strive to reverse or limit the effect of this order.
At this point, we do not anticipate that those individuals with existing lawful status will be impacted by the executive order as it relates to international travel and entry into the United States. It may take several weeks or months, however, for the new administration to develop clear policies regarding standards for entry into the United States. In the meantime, affected persons should exercise great care as regards international travel.
Many members of the Berea College community are already concerned with the plight of undocumented students and their families. As troubling as it is, the January 27 order is unrelated to DACA. We remain hopeful that the President and Congress will act in a responsible manner concerning the hundreds of thousands of undocumented students at America’s colleges and universities who find themselves and their futures in such great peril.
Berea College was founded as the South’s first interracial and co-educational college and is committed to serving students and offering employment to qualified persons, regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and other protected personal characteristics. The College remains committed to supporting our DACA students to the fullest extent permitted by law.
Yesterday, I was in Washington, DC, sharing Berea’s mission as well as our concerns regarding the plight of DACA students and their families, with members of our congressional delegation. In the days and weeks ahead, the College will do all that it can to protect the legal rights of these students and their dream of a college education.
Lyle D. Roelofs