Dr. W. Kent Fuchs, President, University of Florida

An open letter from UF students, faculty, staff, and alumni to the President of the University about the current administration's Immigration Executive Order.

Dear President Fuchs,

As students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the University of Florida, we were relieved by your statement on the recent Executive Order that bans entry to the US for citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries. Your explicit support of international members of our community is consistent with the values we wish to see flourish in our University. While the ban has temporarily been suspended, the few days of its enforcement show the profound effects it could have on UF. As we write this letter, the administration has appealed the suspension ruling, and we must prepare for the ban's possible reinstatement.

Should the ban be reestablished, UF students, faculty and staff of the affected nationalities, including legal visa and green-card holders, would be unable to re-enter the country or travel abroad. Those who cannot re-enter the country would be suddenly separated from their home, family, and work in the US. Those who cannot travel abroad would be unable to participate in work meetings, scientific conferences or fieldwork out of the country, to visit families or to attend to family emergencies abroad. While the legal battle over the Executive Order is unfolding with unpredictable outcomes, concern and uncertainty are spreading among our international colleagues, with the UF International Center recently encouraging international students of all nationalities to carefully consider their decisions to travel out of the US.

The ban has created shockwaves throughout the UF community and in universities all across the country. Now is a time to stand as leaders firmly rooted in our shared values of mutual respect, diversity, and excellence.

To amplify your support and to establish protections for the international community at UF, we ask that you implement University policies to disregard any dropped classes, waive tuition fees, and hold university jobs for any member of our community that is affected by this ban. Furthermore, we trust that you will continue to monitor changes to immigration laws and policies that affect our University community, and to convey UF’s firm support and institutional acceptance of our international colleagues.

As members of a University that thrives on diversity, academic freedom, and international exchange, we denounce this ban and the extraordinary damage it could cause to the work of our staff, to the teaching and research activities of our faculty, and to the education of our students.

Thank you for your support, President Fuchs. We appreciate your work and look forward to assisting you as we remain vigilant and committed to the values and mission of our University.


The Undersigned UF Community Members

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The University of Florida students, faculty, staff, and alumni against the Immigration Executive Order petition to Dr. W. Kent Fuchs, President, University of Florida was written by Students, Faculty, Staff, Alumni of the University of Florida and is in the category Education at GoPetition.