Dear Bucknellians,

On Friday, the White House issued an Executive Order (EO) entitled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which directly impacts colleges and universities nationwide, including Bucknell. The EO specifically affects citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Since admitting our first international student in 1858 — 19-year-old Maung Shaw Loo of Burma, now known as Myanmar —  we have benefited from and greatly valued the unique perspectives and experiences that our international students and employees bring to campus. Bucknell will continue to extend its full support to its international students and colleagues, and I will stand with other leaders across higher education who seek to oppose this EO's overreaching measures which are antithetical to our community's values and, more broadly, our mission as an institution of higher learning.

Our general counsel has been in close contact with our outside immigration attorney and attorneys at other colleges and universities as all struggle to gain a better understanding of the impact of this EO. It is a fluid situation, with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection applying an interpretation today even more expansive than was anticipated when the order was signed yesterday. Given those realities, we want to provide the following information, but with the understanding that the situation is not at all clear at this time.

The following is a quick summary of the EO and related recommendations: 

  • International students and employees from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria or Yemen in immigrant status (green card) or any nonimmigrant status (e.g., F-1, H-1B, etc.), employees who are applicants for adjustment of status to permanent resident, and J-1 exchange visitors and their family members in nonimmigrant status should avoid leaving the United States until further notice. This includes travel to Canada, Mexico and other contiguous territories. For the time being, this includes not only individuals who arrived in the United States from one of the countries listed in the EO, but also individuals who were born in one of the listed countries and have become citizens of a country not on the list. The EO directs U.S. immigration officials to stop issuing visas and visa renewals at consular posts and to stop travelers at U.S. ports of entry even if they have unexpired visas and/or unexpired I-94 admission records. 
  • As issued, the EO has no direct impact on individuals who are currently in the United States and remain here.·
  • While the EO does not expressly affect individuals from other countries in immigrant or any nonimmigrant status, please assess the situation more closely before making a decision to travel abroad as the climate at ports of entry has changed.

We will continue to monitor developments impacting our international students and colleagues, and will provide updates as additional information becomes available. In the meantime, students with questions regarding their status should contact Director of International Student Services Jennifer Figueroa at j.figueroa@bucknell.edu or (570) 577-3794. Faculty and staff should contact General Counsel Amy Foerster (acf012@bucknell.edu) or Assistant Counsel Lynda Meinke (lmeinke@bucknell.edu). You can also reach them by phone at (570) 577-1149.

The application of such limitations to members of our own community — and of communities across the country — is deeply distressing. We will stand united against acts that impede our commitment to inclusivity and, further, will push for decisions that reflect community and compassion.  

John Bravman

President

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