Haverford on Immigration
On January 31, President Kim Benston, Provost Fran Blase, and Dean of the College Martha Denney sent the following message to Haverford students, faculty, and staff. President Benston has also joined other college and university leaders in signing a letter to Donald Trump regarding the immigration order.
As you almost certainly know, last Friday President Trump issued an executive order that placed restrictions on immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This action has already caused significant hardship to many individuals and communities, and could potentially disrupt the lives of people here at the College. There remains considerable uncertainty about the status of President Trump’s executive order, to whom it applies, and the manner of its enforcement in various locations.
Here are key elements of Haverford College’s response as of this writing:
1. We begin by reaffirming the position that the College stated last month—namely, that Haverford will uphold its principles of care, trust, and respect in supporting all members of this community. Specifically, we will not voluntarily cooperate with any federal effort to identify and extrude members of our community on the basis of their religion or country of origin. Please review the Haverford Board of Managers’ recent resolution regarding the College’s position on safeguarding our community members and their private information to the extent allowable by law.
2. We advise all nationals from countries affected by the President’s executive order not to travel outside the United States until there is clarity about the order and its ramifications.
3. We have been in contact with students, staff, and faculty directly who are directly affected by the executive order, and we are working with counsel to clarify its legal implications for these students, staff, and faculty.
4. Any other member of the College community who has specific concerns or questions about how executive orders on immigration and border security could affect them may turn to the following people:
- Students may contact Martha Denney, Dean of the College. Additionally, the offices of Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Office of International Student Services are at your service and ready to help.
- Faculty may contact Provost Fran Blase.
- Staff may consult with Muriel Brisbon, our Director of Human Resources.
5. Along with colleges and universities across the country, we are continuing to closely monitor the emerging issues and their potential impact on community members. We will communicate with you as the evolving situation warrants, offering the most informed and timely guidance we can.
Finally, we would like you to know that Haverford has taken a lead role in bringing Pennsylvania’s college and university presidents together to lobby for the BRIDGE Act. This proposed congressional legislation would extend protections afforded by DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy of 2012. On January 24, President Benston delivered a letter from over 65 of the state’s higher-education presidents to the offices of Senators Casey and Toomey, requesting that the senators join the bill’s roster of bipartisan sponsors. President Benston is among more than 560 college and university presidents who, through the American Council on Education, have asked President Donald J. Trump to allow these productive and high-achieving individuals to continue working and studying while his administration and Congress arrive at a permanent solution regarding their immigration status.
Here at Haverford, we remain steadfast in respecting the dignity and value of all our community members. Thank you for your shared commitment to this ideal and to one another.
Dean of the College