The below statement was sent from the Office of the Dean to members of the Law School community earlier today. It is reprinted in full below.
Dear NYU Law Community:
As you are all no doubt aware, on Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that temporarily bars all refugees into the United States and indefinitely bars all Syrian refugees, and that temporarily bars nearly anyone from seven specified countries (all of which are majority Muslim), regardless of visa type. On Saturday night, amidst swelling protests at airports around the country, a number of federal courts issued orders temporarily suspending certain aspects of the executive order, pending further litigation.
The leaders of institutions of higher education across the country—including NYU’s President Hamilton—have raised alarms about the executive order and its potential impact on our students and our schools. I share that concern for the NYU Law community, which includes students and scholars from the listed countries or who have family there, and Muslim students who feel that the order is hostile to their religion or who fear that their countries of origin may be targeted next. We are in touch with members of our community who may be immediately impacted to offer our support. These students and scholars are all full members of the NYU Law community, and we stand behind them. We are committed to doing all we can to keep them safe.
We at NYU Law know that our strength lies in our diversity, in our promotion of the free flow of ideas, and in our provision of a welcoming intellectual home for all of our members, without regard to religion or viewpoint. Openness is the heart of our enterprise. While this may be true at any institution of higher learning, it is especially so at our Law School, whose commitment to global engagement is deep and longstanding. Having grown up outside this country before coming to the U.S. for graduate school, the potential repercussions of this executive order resonate especially powerfully with me. Speaking for myself, I simply cannot square it with our core values.
I am proud that members of our community, led by Professor Alina Das, are providing legal assistance to people detained at airports and others whose immigration status is now in doubt. Our students and alumni likewise are organizing to offer legal assistance to those impacted. Together, these members of the NYU Law community are helping to ensure that any new immigration policy is consistent with our constitutional values and is implemented lawfully. We will also provide opportunities to discuss these issues on campus. This Wednesday’s Forum will focus on the executive order and will feature analysis and commentary by Professors Adam Cox, Alina Das, and Nancy Morawetz.
This is a time of uncertainty and fear for many. For the time being, we recommend that members of the NYU Law community from the seven countries named in the order who are in the United States on a visa, or who are lawful permanent residents here, do not travel outside the country. If you have any concern about how the executive order could impact you, please contact our Immigrant Rights Clinic’s Immigrant Defense Initiative or NYU’s Office of Global Services. Our Office of Student Affairs and Office of Graduate Affairs can also offer guidance and support. And, as ever, please feel encouraged to call the Wellness Center for counseling if you need it.
Trevor W. Morrison