University addresses the uncertainty surrounding immigration executive orders
Feb. 8, 2017
While IU and universities nationwide continue to grapple with the effects imposed by the recent federal executive orders on immigration, the IU Board of Trustees passed a resolution Feb. 3, as stated by board chair James T. Morris, to “reaffirm its commitment to Indiana University and what it stands for."
That resolution reads:
WHEREAS, Indiana University embraces openness to the world and joins the great global universities of the world in seeking to attract the best students, scholars and researchers from every country;
WHEREAS, any action that impacts, even temporarily, the ability of our students and scholars to freely travel to academic conferences, engage in research outside the United States, or return to their home countries without fear of being denied readmission to the United States has a harmful impact on our ability to fulfill our educational and research mission;
THEREFORE, The Trustees of Indiana University hereby support and affirm the statement of President McRobbie reaffirming Indiana University’s strong commitment to its traditions of international engagement and to supporting IU students, faculty and staff affected by changes in immigration policy.
In addition, the university administration continues to offer its unwavering support and assistance to those impacted. As a public institution bound by federal and state laws, IU is able to, and will, take several steps to support all of its students, faculty and staff regardless of personal characteristics, background, country of origin or documentation.
- The university will continue to provide counseling and support on immigration-related concerns.
- The university will continue to counsel those impacted about available resources for educational and living expenses for which they are legally eligible.
- The university will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute anyone who threatens, intimidates, or harasses any member of the university community, and make special efforts to protect those who are targeted or at risk for physical harm, threats or intimidation.
- The university will continue and intensify IU’s long-standing advocacy for expanded access to higher education for all IU students:
- IU was among the institutions comprising the Association of American Universities, a nonprofit coalition of 62 research universities, that released a statement urging the federal government to end the travel ban.
- President Michael A. McRobbie signed “A Statement in Support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Program and our Undocumented Immigrant Students.”
- President McRobbie issued a statement emphasizing diversity and engagement with the global community as core values of the university.
- Provost Lauren Robel issued a statement to the Bloomington community in response to the federal executive order.
- The Bloomington Faculty Council also approved a resolution in response to the federal executive order.
IU respects the privacy of all staff, faculty and students equally, in their studies, work and personal lives, and will not voluntarily disclose immigration and/or citizenship status information to federal authorities absent a court-issued subpoena or when necessary to comply with a federal regulation or protect a person’s safety. Additionally, the university police department will not ask questions regarding immigration and/or citizenship status while performing their daily, routine duties.
In fact, the unsolicited disclosure of personal information about a student to a third party could be a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as FERPA. Any legal questions, subpoenas and requests from government agencies will be immediately directed to the Office of the Vice President and General Counsel.
The IU Office of International Services created a webpage that will serve as a central platform for information, guidance and resources related to the federal executive orders. DACA and undocumented student information can also be found there.