Message Regarding Immigration and Travel Ban

A message from President Williams

 Monday, January 30, 2017 05:08 PM

To The Muhlenberg College Community,

A great deal of anxiety and concern has arisen on college and university campuses, including at Muhlenberg, and in other communities throughout the U.S. and around the world as a result of President Trump's Executive Order suspending entry into the United States for refugees for 120 days; nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days; and Syrian refugees indefinitely. In the three days since the order was signed on January 27, multiple federal courts have issued emergency stays temporarily halting the removal from the U.S. of individuals detained in transit when the order went into effect. It is unclear how the temporary stay will affect these individuals while the legal challenges move through the court system.

The prompt action by our courts is a reassuring reminder that the U.S. remains a nation of laws and of checks and balances, including those of the judicial branch.

Our Muhlenberg community includes people with views across the entire political spectrum, but I hope we can all agree that we aspire to be an educational institution that is fully welcoming of talented students from around the world. While none of our current students are from any of the seven countries listed above, Muhlenberg enrolls students from 14 foreign countries, and we recruit from still more. In addition, hundreds of Muhlenberg students study abroad each year, and our faculty travel abroad routinely as teachers and scholars. We are proud to be part of an American higher education system that is one of our country’s greatest strengths in part because it attracts exceptionally talented individuals from around the world, and join the Association of American Universities' call for an end to this executive order barring returning students and faculty from entering the United States.

We hope the new administration in Washington will be responsive to the concerns that institutions of higher education across the United States have about this matter.


John I. Williams, Jr.
Muhlenberg College