On Monday, Duke University filed a legal brief
in opposition to President Trump's contested refugee ban and travel restrictions
The school joined sixteen other universities in filing the amicus brief, which allows non-litigants to state their views on an appellate court case. A U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel last week denied a request
from the Justice Department to reinstate the order.
The executive order, signed January 27, prohibits people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, suspends refugee admissions for 120 days, and indefinitely bars Syrian refugees. The Court of Appeals' action upheld a federal judge's earlier ruling blocking parts of the order.
In the brief
, the universities write that their mission, to "educate future leaders from nearly every continent" and "attract the world's best scholars," relies on being able to host international students and faculty.
Each university has "a global mission, and each derives immeasurable benefit from the contributions of diverse students, faculty, and scholars from around the world ... The Executive Order at issue in this case threatens that ability, and creates significant hardship for ... valued international students, faculty, and scholars," the brief says.
The universities write that the order has left "students, faculty, and scholars stranded abroad, while others were unable to leave the United States to travel to their home countries or elsewhere for field research, academic meetings, and family and personal obligations."
Forty-one Duke students or faculty members are from the seven countries outlined in the order, including two who were abroad when it was signed, the brief says. Ten percent of Duke undergrads and 47 percent of graduate students are international students. Eight percent of faculty are international.
In addition to Duke, the participating universities are Brown, Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Emory, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton, Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Yale.
Ironically, perhaps, the force behind Trump’s executive order was reportedly his senior policy adviser, thirty-one-year-old Stephen Miller
, who just so happens to have studied politics (and written a lot of wince-worthy columns) at Duke University
Duke's announcement comes after students and faculty held a rally
to protest Trump's executive order and his plans to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Students at that event said they want the university to help pay the legal fees of students facing immigration issues.