Dear Members of the UCSF Community,
I am writing to provide another update on President Trump’s executive order on immigration and its impact on our community. Since the announcement of the executive order last Friday, my leadership team has been working continuously to gain clarity on the concrete implications of the policy as well as to provide answers to the many questions and concerns that this action has raised among members of the UCSF community.
First, I want to state unambiguously that the President’s recent action temporarily barring immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries and suspending the U.S. refugee program is antithetical to our core values. We at UCSF are committed to attaining a culture in which every individual is treated respectfully and fairly regardless of her or his religion or national origin, and we hold dear the very principles on which this country was founded: freedom and the opportunity for all members of society to achieve their dreams. It also is important to emphasize that the mission of UCSF is to advance health worldwide. While we make our home in the Bay Area, UCSF is a global community that thrives on the interaction between faculty, students, trainees and staff from different cultures, backgrounds and beliefs. At our core, we believe deeply in the free flow of information and knowledge that comes from global engagement.
We have looked carefully at who among our community might be affected by the executive order, and I am at least somewhat relieved to know that, as far as we can tell, no one from UCSF is currently at risk of being denied re-entry to the U.S. or being deported. However, the ban already is having a chilling effect on our community’s ability to travel freely, and this consequence looms large. We must remain fully aware that the lives of many, many people across the nation and the world have been cast into fear and uncertainty as a result of these latest actions.
Second, I stand alongside UC President Janet Napolitano and the chancellors of the nine other UC campuses in voicing my unwavering commitment to ensuring the unfettered participation of students, faculty and scholars from around the world in every aspect of UC life. The University of California has also joined with other universities and organizations in a letter being circulated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) urging the President to rescind this executive order and describing the negative impact it has on the scientific community.
Third, UCSF is working very closely with the UC Office of Federal Government Relations in Washington, DC. Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Zoe Lofgren have introduced legislation rescinding the President’s executive order. I am pleased that the University of California has decided to support both S. 240 and HR 724.
Fourth, a town hall will be held on Friday, February 3, from 12:10 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Parnassus in Cole Hall to share what we know on the effects of the executive order on UCSF and to allow members of the community to ask questions. The town hall will include remarks by Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP) Dan Lowenstein, Director of the UCSF International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) Brian Groves, and Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications and University Relations Barbara French.
Finally, avail yourself of the extensive support available from the UCSF International Students & Scholars Office, which advises scholars and students from around the globe on visa matters pertaining to programs of study, research or work at UCSF. ISSO is the university’s liaison to federal government agencies in all immigration matters affecting UCSF. As part of our efforts to stay fully informed of the impact of the executive order on our community, we invite you to share any personal stories about how the executive order is affecting you by sending them to [email protected].
Below is information intended to answer immediate questions. As additional information is gathered, it will be posted on UCSF.edu as well as on the ISSO website.
I have charged EVCP Dan Lowenstein and Associate Chancellor Terri O’Brien with coordinating UCSF’s response to the executive order. They are working closely with campus units including ISSO, University Relations (encompassing Community and Government Relations), the Office of Legal Affairs, and the Office of Diversity & Outreach, as well the UC Office of the President.
Sam Hawgood, MBBS
Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Distinguished Professor
UC Supports Legislation to Rescind the Executive Order
The University of California is supporting S. 240 and HR 724, legislation introduced by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representative Zoe Lofgren, Feinstein: S. 240 and Lofgren: HR 724, rescinding the President’s executive order.
Impact of Executive Order on UCSF Community
While the entire UCSF community is grappling to understand the ramifications of the President’s executive order on immigration, some 60 UCSF students, trainees and employees are directly impacted. The ISSO reports that:
- 41 students and scholars from the seven countries specifically identified in the President’s order – Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia – are enrolled at UCSF.
- Documents to enter the U.S. have been issued by ISSO for another 8 students and scholars from those countries.
- 11 UCSF employees – mostly faculty – also are from these 7 countries.
As of late Monday, ISSO was not aware of any UCSF faculty member, student or trainee who is from one of the seven countries and had been traveling and denied re-entry back into the U.S. If any member of the UCSF community is aware of such a situation, please contact ISSO Director Brian Groves at [email protected]. Members of the UCSF community who are planning travel outside of country and have any questions or concerns about the impact of the executive order are also encouraged to contact Brian Groves.
The UC Office of the President is working closely with UCSF and the other UC campuses to ensure that any member of our community who is affected by the ban receives the help and support they need.
Support for the UCSF Community
ISSO is prepared and available to provide support for any member of the UCSF community who could be affected by the executive order. Support includes access to immigration information, referrals to attorneys or legal services and, as required, case intervention with government agencies. Information about ISSO, including contact information, can be found on the ISSO website.