Executive Order on Immigration

Join us for a community forum and faculty panel:

The Changing Political Climate: Perspectives on the Changing Policies toward Immigration and Refugees under the Trump Administration
Thursday, February 16th, 2017, 7:00-8:00 pm, ASEAN Auditorium, Cabot Building, Medford Campus

This interactive event will also be livestreamed to the Boston and Grafton campuses. Click here for more information.

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The Office of the Provost has created this page to guide the Tufts community about the Executive Order issued on January 27, 2017, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” This page contains general information and does not constitute legal advice.  We continue to monitor the situation and evaluate the impacts of the Executive Order on the Tufts community, and we will continue to update this page as more information becomes available.

Information and Updates on the Executive Order on Immigration

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 13, 2017

To the international members of our community:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a nationwide stay of the travel ban imposed by President Trump’s recent Executive Order on immigration.

This means that visa holders from the seven affected countries (Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) will continue to be permitted to travel, as long as the stay remains in effect.

President Trump has signaled his intention to issue a new Executive Order, and possibly to appeal the Ninth Circuit decision, and we anticipate additional action to follow in the coming weeks.  Because the legal landscape remains unsettled, the University continues to advise those impacted by the Executive Order to avoid travel outside the United States.

We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will contact you with updated guidance as needed.  In the meantime, should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your school or department’s international office or Diana Chigas, Senior International Officer and Associate Provost at diana.chigas@tufts.edu.

Executive Order FAQ

While the situation remains fluid, the following are answers to frequently asked questions concerning the Executive Order.  They are available for download here. The FAQs provide general information.  For further information, or if you require legal advice, please reach out to the university resources listed below.

1. What does the Executive Order Do?

On January 27, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order, entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.”  The Executive Order suspended entry to the U.S. of immigrants and non-immigrants from 7 countries for a period of 90 days – through April 30, 2017.  The 7 countries are:  Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.  The Order also suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, after which the program was to be conditionally resumed and refugee claims of individuals from persecuted minority religions were to be given first priority.

2. Who is impacted by the Executive Order?

The Order impacts all Tufts students, faculty, staff and scholars who are citizens of one of the 7 countries and who have non-immigrant visas (F-1, J-1, H-1B, etc.) or immigrant visas. There are some exemptions for individuals traveling on a diplomatic visa, NATO visa, and/or C-2, G-1, G-2, G-2 and G-4 visas.

Implementation of the Executive Order has been blocked by the courts—at least for now. On February 3, a federal court judge in Seattle, WA blocked implementation of the Executive Order nationwide. On February 7, the Ninth Circuit upheld that decision.  For now, people from the 7 countries can re-enter the U.S., and their visas have been reinstated.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has resumed the processing of applications and petitions filed for individuals from the 7 countries.

USCIS is currently adjudicating the filings for OPT, Change of Status, Extensions of Stay, H-1Bs and Naturalization for these groups.

However, litigation over the Executive Order continues. President Trump has signaled his intention to issue a new Executive Order, and possibly to appeal the Ninth Circuit decision, and we anticipate additional action to follow in the coming weeks.  Because the legal landscape remains unsettled, Tufts continues to advise those affected by the Executive Order (i.e., individuals with visas from the 7 countries) to avoid travel until the court cases are resolved.  If you are from one of the 7 countries, and are traveling outside the United States, or must travel for either professional or personal reasons, and you have not already been in touch with us, please reach out to Diana Chigas, Senior International Officer and Associate Provost.

3. Does it apply to green card holders?

Further guidance on the Executive Order from the White House clarifies that the Order is not intended to apply to U.S. permanent residents (green card holders) who are from the 7 countries.

4. Does it apply to dual citizens with citizenship one of the 7 countries and another country (other than the US)?

The White House has not made specific statements about the Order’s applicability to individuals with dual citizenship.  However, the US.. Customs and Border Protection Agency (CBP) has stated on its website, “Dual nationals with a valid immigrant or nonimmigrant visa in a passport issued by any country not restricted under the Executive Order will be permitted to apply for admission to the United States.”  Travelers are being treated according to the travel document they present.

The same is true for Canadian landed immigrants (permanent residents).

However, since the situation is fluid, Tufts recommends that people with dual citizenship contact one of the University resources listed below before planning any travel, including to Canada.

5. How does the Executive Order affect applications for visa extensions or for immigration benefits?

On February 2, USCIS updated its website with a statement that it is continuing to adjudicate applications for benefits regardless of country of origin.

6. Is the list being expanded?

There have been reports that the White House will expand the list of countries, but the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association has been advised by the State Department that there is no addendum, annex, or amendment now being worked on to expand the travel ban to countries other than the 7 countries currently listed in the Executive Order.

7. What is Tufts doing in response to the Executive Order?

President Monaco issued a statement two days after the Executive Order was issued, expressing Tufts’ commitment to protect and support the international members of our university community.  In that statement, the University reiterated that Tufts will not provide information or assist in the enforcement of immigration laws excepted as mandated by a subpoena, warrant or court order.

On February 2, the University signed on to a letter to President Trump, organized by the Presidents of the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University.  The following day, Tufts signed onto a letter to the Department of Homeland Security organized by the American Council on Education.

On February 3, Tufts also  joined seven other private colleges and universities in Massachusetts (including Harvard, MIT, BC, Northeastern, WPI, Brandeis and BU) in filing an amicus brief in the Massachusetts case seeking a permanent injunction of the Executive Order.  The amicus brief began by quoting part of President Monaco’s message to the Tufts community: “We take great pride in the global nature of our community and have always embraced and valued our international members from around the world. They are our colleagues and friends. Our community and the world are better places because of what we learn and create together.”

8. What advice is Tufts giving regarding travel?

If you are from one of the seven countries, Tufts continues to recommend that you postpone travel outside the United States.  Given the uncertainty and fluidity of the situation, Tufts University continues to advise those affected by the Executive Order (i.e., individuals with visas) to avoid travel until the court cases are resolved.  If you are from one of the seven countries, and are traveling outside the United States, or must travel for either professional or personal reasons, and you have not already been in touch with us, please reach out to Diana Chigas, Senior International Officer and Associate Provost.

If you are from a country other than the list of seven: Please ensure your passport is valid for reentry, that you hold the appropriate and valid visa in your passport, and that you carry with you all required immigration documents. While not necessary, a letter from your department or dean describing your activities and contributions could be helpful if you anticipate difficulty, especially if you are traveling to one of the seven countries.  A sample is available for download here.

Please also make sure you are updated on the latest rules and regulations concerning re-entry to the United States, as guidelines are subject to change at any time.  Updates will be posted on the Provost’s website, as well as on the site of your department’s international office and the Tufts Travel Registry site.

If you are traveling, please register your trip with the Tufts Travel Registry.  Registering will help the University be able to contact you to assist you in the event of an emergency or any unexpected developments.  It will also give you access to very useful medical and travel insurance, as well as regular updates and information on the situation in the countries you are traveling to, when you are on Tufts-related travel.

9. What resources are available?

Assistance on immigration and visas: The University is helping affected members of our community, including connecting them to legal resources where needed.  For ongoing questions regarding your visa status, applicants and renewals or other immigration-related questions, please contact the following offices for assistance:

  • Jane-Etish Andrews – Medford Campus, Grafton Campus, and HNRCA/Friedman (students and faculty)
  • Ghenwa Hakim – Boston Campus (students and faculty)
  • Reiko Morris – Fletcher School (students only)
  • Diana Chigas – staff not serviced by the above-mentioned offices

Counseling and Mental Health.  Services are available for those who have been or may be impacted by the Executive Order.

Medford: The Counseling and Mental Health Service, 120 Curtis Street

The Counseling and Mental Health Service will be holding a drop-in group conversation hour on Friday afternoons from 2pm – 3pm for students who have been, or may be impacted by the recent Executive Order on immigration.  The group will provide a safe space for participants to converse and connect with others who have similar concerns, provide mutual support, and discuss strategies for self-care and managing stress. The groups will be held at the Counseling and Mental Health Service, at 120 Curtis Street, diagonally across the street from Fletcher Field.  No registration is necessary.  Groups will be held each Friday afternoon at the same time and place for the month of February, and may continue beyond that date if there is sufficient interest.

Boston: Student Wellness Advising: 200 Harrison Avenue, Posner Hall, 4th Floor

Sharon Snaggs Gendron is available to provide support and discuss strategies for managing stress for those on the Boston campus affected by the Executive Order.