Universities join amicus brief against immigration orders

United Methodist related Duke and Emory universities are two of 17 private colleges joining a legal challenge to President Donald Trump’s immigration restrictions.

Each of the schools noted they gain “immeasurable benefit” from the contributions of diverse students, faculty and scholars.

Trump’s order to ban people from seven majority Muslim countries was stopped with legal action by a federal appeals court on Feb. 10. The president plans to appeal the ruling, which he defended during a press conference this week, saying the U.S. cannot “let the wrong people in.”

However, when the executive order went into effect, the 90-day suspension left some university members — including two at Duke University — stranded abroad. Others were unable to leave the United States to travel to their homes and families, and the order prevented some from research or other academic pursuits.

Duke currently has 41 individuals enrolled as students or employed as postdoctoral fellows or faculty from the seven countries affected by the ban.

A view of Cannon Chapel at Candler School of Theology, at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Thirty-four percent of Emory’s 944 full-time research staff are nonresident aliens. Photo by Revesq, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

A view of Cannon Chapel at Candler School of Theology, at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Thirty-four percent of Emory’s 944 full-time research staff are nonresident aliens. Photo by Revesq, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The legal brief states that Emory employs more than 2,000 full-time instructional staff, of whom 5 percent are nonresident aliens; in addition, 34 percent of Emory’s 944 full-time research staff are nonresident aliens.

The other universities signed on to the brief are: Brown, Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Stanford, Vanderbilt and Yale.

The brief was filed in United States District Court, Eastern District of New York, on Feb. 13.

Emory President Claire E. Sterk and Duke President Richard H. Brodhead also joined more than 40 other college and university presidents in sending a letter to Trump on Feb. 2 asking him to rescind the immigration orders.

Sterk noted her participation in the letter in a message emailed to the Emory community on Feb. 6.

“Emory University is a safe harbor for students and faculty regardless of faith, nationality or background. I am incensed about the direct and indirect impact the current situation has on members of our community and pledge to continue our full support of all of our students — documented and undocumented — and work tirelessly against restrictions that impede the free flow of information and basic human rights.”

Gilbert is a multimedia news reporter for United Methodist News Service. Contact her at (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.orgTo read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests

Sign up for our newsletter!

SUBSCRIBE

Latest News

Mission and Ministry
Asylum-seekers from Lebanon are greeted by Federica Brizi and Francesco Piobbichi of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy (center) upon their arrival in Rome in August 2017. The group obtained legal visas through the Humanitarian Corridors program of the federation, the Synod of Waldensian and Methodist Churches and the Community of Sant’Egidio, run by Mediterranean Hope. Photo courtesy of Mediterranean Hope.

Small churches play big role for refugees in Italy

Italian religious groups, including Methodists, have created a legal, safe pathway for Syrians and other vulnerable asylum seekers to resettle in Italy and the work is expanding.
Social Concerns
United Methodist deaconess Cindy Johnson (right) walks to buy medicine with Isabél who traveled with her daughter from Nicaragua to Matamoros, Mexico, hoping to request asylum in the U.S. Kassandra, 16 months, was suffering from fever and weight loss while she and her mother waited for their turn to approach the bridge leading to Brownsville, Texas. Johnson, who makes regular visits to the makeshift camp, brought members of the United Methodist Immigration Task Force for a firsthand look at the immigration situation. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

United Methodists respond to migrants at the border

The United Methodist Immigration Task Force saw United Methodists in action caring for migrants from around the world seeking asylum at border towns in Texas.
General Church
Members of the Commission on a Way Forward converse as they complete their final commission meeting on May 23, 2018, at the Upper Room chapel in Nashville, Tenn. Photo courtesy of Maidstone Mulenga, Council of Bishops.

Unity struggle is major story of 2018

Commission on a Way Forward wraps up and The United Methodist Church prepares for momentous special meeting.