University files amicus brief challenging Trump travel ban

GW is one of 31 colleges and universities in the U.S. to jointly file an amicus brief opposing President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order, according to a University release Friday.

The revised version of the travel ban, which was signed March 6, suspends entry into the U.S. for 90 days for nationals of six majority-Muslim countries. It would also bar entry for those seeking the visas that international students, staff and faculty at universities typically obtain.

Federal courts in Hawaii and Maryland have blocked the ban, and several appeals courts will hear the Trump administration’s appeal of that block. The amicus brief, a document filed by someone who is not a party to the case but has a strong interest, was filed for the Fourth Circuit court, which will hear oral arguments in May.

University President Steven Knapp has previously affirmed GW’s support for both international and undocumented students, penning a letter earlier this year and signing a joint statement with other universities in November. Nine of GW’s 14 peer schools also joined the amicus brief.

The brief challenges the executive order, claiming that it threatens the universities’ ability to “meet their goals of educating tomorrow’s leaders.”

“Even though the Executive Order is currently limited to six countries, American universities are already feeling its damaging effects,” according to the brief. “The Order threatens amici’s ability to attract the best students, faculty, staff, and scholars from around the world.”

International students are “vital” to the universities, the country and the world, the brief states.

“The international members of amici’s communities contribute to the vibrant campus life, world-class educational offerings, and research discoveries,”according to the brief.

The full 40-page document is available on the University’s website.

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