One Pierce County college is calling President Donald Trump’s executive orders banning travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries un-American, and others are voicing support for affected students and staff members.
The ban on travelers from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — whether they are immigrants or visitors — is to last 90 days. The orders also suspended new refugee admissions for 120 days and banned Syrian refugees indefinitely.
“We believe these new executive orders violate our Lutheran values and what it means to be an American,” said Pacific Lutheran University president Thomas Krise.
PACIFIC LUTHERAN UNIVERSITY
Though the executive orders don’t affect any PLU students or scholars, Krise said in a statement Monday that more than 17,000 students in the United States come from the seven countries.
“The PLU community joins with millions of Americans of all faiths, leaders of local and state government, and other community leaders to say we will step up our own efforts to provide direct support to immigrants and refugees who are threatened by these new policies,” Krise said.
He urged the PLU community to join him in supporting their Muslim neighbors, including PLU’s Muslim Student Association.
“Our differences are, without question, a blessing,” Krise said. “And, our institution’s grounding in the values of the Lutheran tradition instructs us that love can cast out fear.”
TACOMA COMMUNITY COLLEGE
“These are unprecedented times that challenge us,” Tacoma Community College leaders said in a statement released Monday.
The college is committed to providing a safe and secure atmosphere for all of its students, regardless of citizenship and immigration status, according to the statement.
“We are proud of our students and staff members, who come from all over the world, who make TCC a great place to be,” the statement read.
The college has several students from the affected countries, spokeswoman Tamyra Howser said.
“Everyone is welcomed here,” she said.
TCC will continue to accept undocumented students.
“Our doors have been open for 50-plus years, and our doors will remain open,” the college said.
UNIVERSITY OF PUGET SOUND
A rally and open mic organized Monday in University of Puget Sound’s Wheelock Student Center was themed, “NO BAN, NO WALL, NO SILENCE,” according to Gayle McIntosh, executive director of communications.
UPS President Isiaah Crawford said in a Monday statement that Trump’s executive orders have heightened concerns “for the safety and well-being of members of our campus community and of our democracy.”
McIntosh said no UPS students are from the affected countries.
Regardless of where its students come from, UPS will continue to protect them all, including undocumented ones, Crawford said.
“As an institution of higher education we have an obligation to each other and to our society to work every day to bring to fruition a welcoming and inclusive society that represents the highest ideals of American democracy,” Crawford said.
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
The UW is closely monitoring the changing immigration situation and how it will affect its more than 80 students from the seven countries, spokesman Victor Balta said.
UW President Ana Mari Cauce posted on her blog Sunday that the school will stand with its international students, staff members and scholars.
Cauce came to the United States as an immigrant.
“When I arrived to this country in 1959, it was as a political refugee from Cuba,” she wrote. “I then became an immigrant on a ‘green card,’ and 15 years later, a U.S. citizen proud to commit to the values that have made this country great, including its almost singular ability to welcome the world’s tired, poor and huddled masses ‘yearning to breathe free,’ as well as its artists, scholars, and scientists coming here to study or to teach.”
More than 100 people gathered on the Tacoma campus Monday to protest Trump’s orders.