Our Global Community

Monday, March 6, 2017

With a new immigration executive order that continues to restrict entry to the United States for most citizens from six Muslim-majority nations, it is important to reiterate Columbia’s fundamental commitment to welcoming students, faculty and staff from around the world.
As President Bollinger has said on numerous occasions, orders that limit immigration based on nationality in this way have a direct and profound impact on our community, both by restricting who can be here and by reinforcing deeply harmful and dangerous stereotypes.
In particular, members of our community who are Muslim, and those who are perceived as Muslim, must navigate an environment where public policy statements often associate Islam with violence rather than with positive contributions to the American fabric of religious pluralism.   

As part of its commitment to challenging this type of restriction, Columbia filed a friend-of-the-court brief with 16 other universities in a challenge to the immigration executive order issued in late January. The brief argues that “safety and security concerns can be addressed in a manner that is consistent with the values America has always stood for, including the free flow of ideas and people across borders and the welcoming of immigrants to our universities.”

On our campuses, we encourage students and others to reach out to Public Safety or to advisers or student affairs staff within your school if you have concerns about harassment or discrimination.
And, the Office of University Life and International Students and Scholars Office are available to assist and support you. Please consider the following options:

Small Group Advisory Sessions
If you are directly affected by the recent executive action on immigration, the Office of University Life and the International Students and Scholars Office can facilitate private information and discussion sessions. For information, contact Jody Drafta at the Office of University Life, jld2224@columbia.edu or 212-854-5527.

Counseling Services
Columbia’s Counseling & Psychological Services (Morningside) and Mental Health Services (CUMC) offer ongoing support, including support groups for international students and, separately, for DACA and undocumented studentsMorningside students can contact: Dr. Carolina Franco, wcf2113@cumc.columbia.edu(212) 854-2878; CUMC students contact: Dr. Claire Haiman, ch3128@cumc.columbia.edu(212) 305-3400.
Guidance on Travel - ISSO
In response to the earlier executive order, Columbia advised community members and visiting scholars from the countries designated in the Jan. 27 executive order to suspend plans for international travel. For those affected by this new order, please contact the International Students and Scholars Office (ISSO) for further guidance. The International Students and Scholars Office also provides advisory and documentation services on issues including— but not limited to—visas, employment, travel, and tax-filing obligations.

Again, we recognize the many members of our University community who are directly impacted by the executive orders and those whose lives are daily affected by the challenges and uncertainty that the U.S. political climate has created for international, undocumented and DACA-recipient students and their families.  For additional University updates and resources on these issues, please see here on immigration and here on issues of importance for undocumented/DACA students.
With a continuing commitment to all within our University community.
Suzanne B. Goldberg
Executive Vice President for University Life
Herbert and Doris Wechsler Clinical Professor of Law


Return to all Messages from EVP Goldberg.