Harvard University vowed to protect foreign and Muslim students and faculty Sunday, citing “escalating anxiety” on campus caused by Donald Trump’s immigration ban this weekend.
Harvard president Drew Faust joined business leaders including Starbucks (sbux) CEO Howard Schultz (sbux) and Google (googl) CEO Sundar Pichai in denouncing President Trump’s executive order Friday, which bans citizens of seven Muslim countries from traveling to the U.S. as well as refugees from around the world.
“We are all Harvard,” Faust wrote in a letter to students Sunday, noting that almost half of Harvard’s deans are immigrants from countries including Iran, one of the countries covered by the travel ban. “We urge the administration, the Congress, and the courts to address these concerns without delay.”
The new travel restrictions “are already posing barriers to scholars and students” trying to enter the U.S. while deterring others from traveling abroad because they are “fearful about their ability to return,” she wrote. At least two people from Harvard have already been blocked from returning to the U.S., the Harvard Crimson reported.
Meanwhile, Harvard’s International Office advised foreign nationals to “carefully assess whether it is worth the risk to travel outside the country,” warning that the Trump administration could still add more countries to the banned list, which could prevent even more students and staff from returning to the U.S.
“We must not and will not conflate people of a venerable faith with people predisposed to acts of terrorism and violence,” Faust continued, pledging to hire the university’s first Muslim chaplain and further boost support for Harvard’s undocumented students along with those affected by the ban. Her comments follow campus protests last week by Harvard students demanding that the university offer greater protections for Muslim and undocumented students.
Other Ivy League universities including Yale and Princeton as well as colleges such as the University of Michigan also criticized the immigration ban, with some directly recommending that students and faculty from the seven blacklisted countries cancel their international travel plans.
“We are alarmed by this executive order,” Yale president Peter Salovey wrote to the university community Sunday. “We question the motivation underlying it and recognize that it departs from long-standing policies and practices in our country.”
Princeton president Christopher Eisgruber’s statement noted that “every single person on this campus has benefited from the ability of people to cross borders,” including himself. “My mother and her family arrived in this country as refugees escaping from a war-torn continent,” he wrote. “They would have perished had they been denied visas.”
Read the full text of Harvard president Drew Faust’s response below: