The Collegian
Thursday, July 16, 2020

University administration addresses Trump's immigration order in emails to students

<p>Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr</p>

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore/Flickr

The University of Richmond administration responded to President Donald J. Trump's executive order on immigration with a series of emails to students on Sunday, offering guidance and counsel to anyone affected by the order. 

Trump signed an executive order on Friday that bars the entry of any refugee awaiting settlement in the U.S. for 120 days, as well as bans citizens of seven countries — Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — from coming to the U.S. regardless of visa category. The order also targeted people holding dual citizenship with any of those countries. 

Judges in four cities have already ruled against the detention of people in airports. Protests erupted in numerous airports over the weekend after people with valid documentation were detained. 

Two emails — one from Richmond President Ronald Crutcher and one from Dean of International Education Martha Merritt — addressed the effect that the order could have on many students at University of Richmond, which holds a strong international presence. Crutcher wrote that the order was "contrary to American ideals and threatens the mission of higher education."

In Merritt's email, which was sent exclusively to international students, she wrote that the Office of International Education was not aware of any students immediately affected by the order, but that she and colleague Krittika Onsanit, director of international student services, were available to speak with any students concerned that the order may affect them or their families. Likewise, Crutcher provided a list of university administrators for students to use as resources if needed.

Both Crutcher and Merritt made it clear that the executive order did not reflect the ideals of the university, and that they would work diligently to defend those ideals.

"Our educational mission depends upon the free exchange of ideas and a shared commitment to welcoming those who seek to live and learn within our communities," Crutcher wrote. "I look forward to working with all of you to realize and defend these central tenets of our work."

Contact editor-in-chief Charlie Broaddus at

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