The Office of the Provost has created this page to guide the Tufts community about the Executive Order, entitled “Protecting the Nation from foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” that was initially issued on January 27, 2017, and then revised and reissued on March 6, 2017. Frequently Asked Questions about the March 6 Executive Order are answered below. We continue to monitor the situation and evaluate the impacts of the Executive Order on the Tufts community. We will continue to post updates on this page when new developments occur or when new information is available.
September 19, 2017 Update
On September 18, Tufts joined 30 universities calling on the Supreme Court to strike down President Trump’s Executive Order by filing a joint Amicus Brief. This reflects Tufts’ commitment to students and faculty from around the world.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the Executive Order on October 10.
June 28, 2017 Update
President Monaco pledges to support and protect past, present, and future international students and faculty.
June 26, 2017 Update
Today, the Supreme Court granted certiorari for the travel ban cases and agreed to hear oral arguments this fall. In the meantime, the Court reinstated the administration’s travel ban – at least, in part.
For full text of the opinion, see here https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/16-1436_l6hc.pdf
Based on today’s decision, current and incoming Tufts’ students, faculty and staff should still be able to travel abroad and return to the United States. As always, however, we must note that individual travelers may experience heightened screening requirements and delays, as enforcement agencies and airlines come to grips with yet another version of the travel ban. Please be sure to carry documentation evidencing your connection to Tufts (I-20, DS-2019, Non-immigrant visa approval notices, letters of appointment). If you encounter difficulty returning to Tufts, please contact Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) at 617-627-3030 .
Tufts remains deeply committed to our international community and recognizes that today’s decision will impact many of our friends and colleagues who do not, as of yet, have a “bona fide” relationship with us. We will continue to watch these developments closely in the weeks and months ahead and encourage you to be in touch with your international office with any questions:
March 22, 2017 Update:
New Restrictions on Electronic Devices and Possible Difficulties Entering the United States
On March 21, 2017, Transportation Safety Authority (TSA) restricted airline passengers from bringing large electronic devices (laptops, tablets, e-readers, electronic games, portable printers, cameras, etc.) in carry-on luggage on flights from the following 10 airports:
Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) (Amman, Jordan)
Cairo International Airport (CAI) (Cairo, Egypt)
Ataturk International Airport (IST) (Istanbul, Turkey)
King Abdul-Aziz International Airport (JED) (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
King Khalid International Airport (RUH) (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
Kuwait International Airport (KWI) (Farwaniya, Kuwait)
Mohammed V Airport (CMN) (Casablanca, Morocco)
Hamad International Airport (DOH) (Doha, Qatar)
Dubai International Airport (DXB) (Dubai)
Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) (Abu Dhabi)
All travelers coming to the United States from these airports should place large electronic devices in their checked luggage. Passengers can carry cellphones/smartphones on the plane.
For a fact sheet on the new security measures, see https://www.dhs.gov/news/2017/03/21/fact-sheet-aviation-security-enhancements-select-last-point-departure-airports.
The United Kingdom has adopted similar measures for flights from Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia.
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 January 27 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.
Implementation of this Executive Order was blocked by the courts; on February 3, a federal court judge in Seattle, WA blocked implementation of the Executive Order nationwide, and on February 7, the Ninth Circuit upheld that decision.
On March 6, 2017, the President issued a new Executive Order (EO) to replace the original January 27 Executive Order. This EO suspends travel to the United States from now only 6 countries for a period of 90 days beginning on March 16, 2017. Unlike the previous EO, however, this EO is prospective: it does not apply to permanent residents or to nationals of the 6 countries who have valid visas obtained on or before January 27. In addition, unlike the previous Executive Order, it does not apply to Iraqi citizens; Iraq was previously listed among those nations, but it was removed from this latest iteration after reassurances from the Iraqi government of increased information sharing with the United States.
2. Who is impacted by the Executive Order?
As of March 16, 2017, the Executive Order prevents nationals of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States for 90 days (i.e., until June 14, 2017) who are outside the U.S. on March 16 and did not have a valid visa on January 27 and do not have a valid visa on March 16.
What does this mean? This means that the following people are NOT subject to the EO:
The EO DOES APPLY to prospective students, faculty or staff or visitors (e.g., conference attendees or speakers) who are citizens of one of the 6 countries and who did not obtain a valid visa by January 27.
3. Are there exceptions?
The EO does allow for the Departments of State and Homeland Security to grant a waiver on a case-by-case basis, if the foreign national demonstrates “that denying entry during the suspension period would cause undue hardship, and that his or her entry would not pose a threat to national security and would be in the national interest.” The process for seeking a waiver still is unclear from the text of the EO and fact sheet and Q&A on implementation issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
The EO lists examples of circumstances in which a waiver could be granted, including:
4. 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. The Department of Homeland Security has also indicated in its Q&A documentation that USCIS will continue to adjudicate applications for naturalization, and applications to register permanent residence or adjust status.
5. Is the list being expanded?
The Executive Order directs the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, to conduct a worldwide review to identify whether and what additional information will be needed from countries to process visas, if any. Additional countries may be included for restrictions or limitations based on this review. The deadline for the report from this review is April 5. We will know more then.
6. What advice is Tufts giving regarding travel outside the United States?
If you are from one of the six countries, and have a valid visa, you can travel abroad and return to the United States. However, given the uncertainty and fluidity of the situation, we have some concern that by being outside the United States on or after the effective date of the new Executive Order (March 16, 2017), people from the six remaining countries on the list (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) could experience significant difficulty returning to the United States. Until we have more information about how the new ban will be implemented, and what (if any) legal challenges may be brought against it, our advice cautiously remains: If you are from one of the six remaining countries on the travel ban list and can reasonably avoid discretionary travel outside the United States, we recommend that you continue to do so. If you need to travel, please reach out to your international office or to Diana Chigas, Senior International Officer and Associate Provost before you travel, to ensure you are up to date on the latest developments.
7. What should I do to prepare for travel and re-entry to the United States, if I decide to travel?
For students, faculty and staff from the six countries covered by the EO, we recommend that you avoid discretionary travel outside the United States, if you can, until we have more information about how the new ban will be implemented. For all travelers (whether you are from one of the six countries or not), our advice is that you are cautious and plan more extensively than you have before the EO was issued. Please take time to review these recommendations, especially if you are traveling outside the U.S.:
8. What has Tufts been doing in response to the Executive Orders?
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 except 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 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.”
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:
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.
Immigrant Rights. Following are links to resources from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) and the Immigration Law Resource Center (ILRC) that have useful information on what to do if you are stopped and questioned by immigration officials, the police or the FBI: