Boulder Faculty Assembly condemns immigration ban, urges CU administration to do the same

The Boulder Faculty Assembly, a group of CU faculty that sets academic policy and advises CU administration on other policies for the campus, approved a statement Wednesday night condemning President Trump’s recent immigration ban.

“As concerns for both truth and justice are central to the mission of the university, it is incumbent on the faculty to speak out against injustice, especially when that injustice is rooted in a disregard for truth,” the BFA statement read.

Titled “Resolution Condemning the Recent Executive Order on Immigration,” the statement declares that the order is unlawful and misunderstands the nature of the immigration system.

“The executive order’s betrayal of the principles of openness and toleration, for which the United States has long stood, risks tarnishing the nation’s image and making us less secure,” it said.

Philosophy professor Alastair Norcross and law professor Aya Gruber co-wrote the statement and brought it before the BFA, the representative body of CU faculty, to be voted on. It passed 30-to-1.

“[W]e, the Boulder Faculty Assembly, join the growing list of hundreds of higher education institutions and organizations, including our parent organization, the Association of American Universities, in condemning this discriminatory executive order and urge University of Colorado leadership to join us in our opposition,” the statement read.

The Association of American Universities is a non-profit coalition of 62 research facilities in the U.S. and Canada. On Jan. 28, the AAU urged for a quick end to the action, saying there were several issues with students trying to get back to their respective campuses.

Earlier in the week, Chancellor Philip DiStefano released a statement on the executive order, declaring “the University of Colorado continues to welcome all of our students, scholars and workers who come from other countries.” Norcross was critical of it, saying that it was of “spineless insignificance” in comparison to declarations from schools such as the University of California system.

Norcross said that he decided to create the BFA resolution because he was disappointed with DiStefano’s statement.

“Our university came out with a statement in support of our students and faculty, which is good, but not voicing any opposition to the executive order itself,” he said. “I think, at the very least, we should stand up and make it clear that we, as a university community, do not support the kind of targeting and discrimination which is behind this executive order.”

The BFA statement also raises concern about how the damage will affect higher education and describes the benefits working with foreign researchers and students has given American universities.

“[A]ll six of our current Nobel Prize winners are immigrants,” it said.

The executive order bars refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, stops immigration and entry for all citizens coming from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen, all of which are Muslim-majority countries, and bars entry for Syrian refugees indefinitely. Part of the ban has been lifted after a legal challenge from the American Civil Liberties Union. Immigrants with valid visas will be able to enter the country, but may face additional questioning at airports.

Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Carina Julig at carina.julig@colorado.edu.

Carina Julig

Carina Julig serves as the managing editor of the CU Independent. A junior majoring in journalism and political science, she formerly interned at the Boulder Daily Camera and studied journalism abroad in the Balkans. She is a California native and cut her teeth in student journalism at her San Diego high school.

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