University responds to executive order

International students advised to refrain from international travel, Ross said

President George E. Ross smiles after a joke, Dec. 7 in the President Conference Room in the Bovvee University Center. Josh Barnhart | Staff Photographer

Central Michigan University President George Ross joined other public universities and issued a statement Monday regarding U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order about immigration.

On Friday, President Trump signed an executive order barring the admission of refugees for 120 days and outlawed travel from seven countries from entering the U.S. for 90 days. Those countries are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Ross said in his statement that CMU has heard the concerns of the community and said the university's values include "respect and inclusiveness."

On Wednesday morning, CMU notified Central Michigan Life there are four international students and three employees who are from one of the seven countries named in President Trump’s executive order.

Tracy Nakajima, director of International Student and Scholar Services for the Office of International Affairs, said there could be additional people impacted at CMU as dual citizens but said the office does not keep track of that.

Nakajima said the Office of International Affairs reached out to students they knew could be potentially impacted by President Trump’s executive order before he signed it. She let them know the office was available to them for their concerns. Nakajima said she reached out to students first before contacting Human Resources and Faculty Personnel Services.

Nakajima said she had email responses before Ross issued his statement on Monday. Nakajima said she has met directly with four students from impacted countries and about 10 students in informal contact, such as emails, phone calls or walk-in meetings. She said faculty has not reached out to her directly.

Nakajima has ongoing plans to continue to reach out to students impacted directly, such as sending out updates. She said impacted students and scholars are the office’s priority.

“We want to ensure they have access to accurate information regarding this and any future executive orders and also know that the Office of International Affairs is one of the many campus resources here to serve them,” Nakajima said.

Until further notice, CMU students from the seven countries named in President Trump's executive order on immigration are advised to not leave the U.S., Ross said.

CMU has been advised that until further clarification or guidance is provided, individuals from the seven countries named in President Trump's executive order "should exercise caution by refraining from international travel," Ross said. He encouraged those traveling outside the U.S. who may be affected by the order and may be concerned about their visa status to contact the CMU Office of International Affairs.

"Please be assured that we will look out for one another in the days and weeks ahead," Ross stated.

The CMU family "includes students, faculty, staff and alumni from around the world with wonderfully diverse backgrounds and identities," he said. The diverse backgrounds and identities make CMU great, Ross said.

CMU works to foster an inclusive community where its members feel safe and valued, Ross said. He said CMU's commitment can be see through its recruitment around the world, "including the seven named in Friday evening’s executive order issued by the president of the United States."

Ross said he will appoint an ad hoc equality and inclusion recommendation team to help CMU's path forward, adding the university "values all members" of the community.

A march protesting the executive order took place at noon Tuesday, drawing about 500 people.

This was the second time since November that Ross issued a statement the day before a protest. Ross issued a statement on Nov. 14 before the "Stop Hate: Walkout and Protest" the following day, a week after the election of President Trump.


About Evan Sasiela

Evan Sasiela is the University Editor at Central Michigan Life and a senior at Central Michigan ...

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