About/Background

Executive Orders on Immigration

About/Background

What changed about U.S. immigration policy and practices on Jan. 27, 2017?

President Trump signed an executive order that suspends for 90 days entry visas for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Does the federal court stay order on the executive actions mean that these regulations will not be implemented until further notice?

On February 9, a federal appellate court upheld a temporary restraining order effectively freezing the travel ban. This means that individuals from the seven named countries and Syrian refugees are not currently prohibited from entering the United States or otherwise applying for immigration benefits in the United States through the Department of Homeland Security. Further, the Government cannot prioritize religious minorities when processing refugee claims. Essentially, the court’s action restored U.S. immigration practices to those in place prior to the January 27 executive order. While it is our understanding that all previously revoked but unexpired visas have been reinstated, nothing in the courts’ decisions indicate that the State Department is required to issue new visas or grant visa renewals. Because the situation continues to be fluid and the courts have not fully and finally resolved challenges to the executive orders, individuals potentially affected by the executive orders should continue to exercise tremendous caution in their travel plans. Recent statements by the executive branch also indicate that new travel restrictions may be forthcoming.

What is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s position on this situation?

Our international students, faculty, staff, postdocs and visiting scholars are highly valued members of our community who have already been thoroughly vetted through the visa and immigration process. We embrace and celebrate their contributions to our university.

This action is of grave concern to our university. Our campus and University of Illinois System leadership are joining with higher education leaders throughout the U.S. to communicate those concerns to the new federal administration.

It is important to note that this is a rapidly developing and uncertain situation, and implementation is being shaped by varying interpretations by immigration officials, subsequent statements by the Trump Administration and legal action.

Has the university made any public statements on the situation?

Yes, Chancellor Robert Jones and Interim Provost Ed Feser have released several statements about our support for international members of the university community. The first was issued Dec. 13.

They also issued a massmail on Jan. 30.

The University of Illinois System issued a statement on Jan. 30.

The university is advocating vigorously against any actions that are needlessly detrimental to our university community and we pledge to be proactive in supporting all of our students, faculty, staff and visiting scholars, whether domestic or international.