Today marks the third anniversary of the federal government’s executive order travel ban, which was first implemented in January 2017. Recent press coverage has suggested that the federal government is considering imposing U.S. travel restrictions for citizens of several additional countries in the near future, though no formal announcement has been made.
At Stanford, we continue to welcome students and scholars from all over the world to our community. We firmly believe that the international exchange of people and ideas is fundamental to the discovery and transmission of knowledge.
Stanford joined other universities in a series of court briefings challenging the travel ban, including in the Trump v. Hawaii case that was heard by the Supreme Court. While the Court ultimately upheld the ban, our principles have not changed. These travel restrictions threaten Stanford’s ability to attract students, faculty and scholars not only from the specified countries, but from around the world. Stanford will continue to defend its principles in this area through ongoing legal and direct federal advocacy efforts.
Here is current information for our community regarding the travel ban:
- We have ongoing support available for members of the Stanford community who are concerned about travel restrictions or have questions. Please email the Bechtel International Center at [email protected] to seek assistance.
- For Stanford students seeking legal assistance around travel ban issues, Bechtel staff can facilitate a free consultation with an attorney through the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic of Stanford Law School. Again, email the Bechtel International Center at [email protected] to initiate the process.
- If more countries are added to the travel ban, the university will be reaching out to students and scholars from the affected countries to provide information and point them to resources, including group information sessions as well as the above opportunities for individual consultation.
The current travel ban restricts U.S. entry for people from seven countries: Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, Venezuela and North Korea. The specifics vary by country and are summarized in a Stanford Legal Office memorandum from 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the travel ban.
Separate from the travel ban, the Supreme Court today issued a decision allowing the federal government to implement new rules making it easier to deny permanent legal status to immigrants based on their expected use of public assistance programs. This is a complex issue; the university will be working to organize an informational session on it in the next couple of weeks and will follow up with information on how individuals can obtain advice and counsel.
In addition, we know that many people in the Stanford community are concerned about the status of the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program, which is currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. This program has allowed many undocumented students in the United States, who came to this country as children and have met legal and educational requirements ever since, to continue their studies without fear of deportation. A Supreme Court decision on the program is expected no later than June.
Stanford has consistently supported DACA and our country’s Dreamer population, including in court briefings with our peer institutions and in advocacy before the federal government. We joined 18 other universities in an amicus brief supporting DACA in the current case before the Supreme Court, and the university has worked to make clear its commitments to undocumented students throughout the debates over DACA.
Here are information and resources for our community regarding DACA:
- For any Stanford student, undergraduate or graduate, with questions or concerns related to their DACA status, we have a single point of initial contact: Dean of Students Mona Hicks, who can be reached at [email protected]. Dean Hicks can coordinate with other resources on campus to help you navigate the complex circumstances that may be involved, including around financial questions. VPSA’s Centers for Equity, Community and Leadership (community centers) will continue to offer community support.
- Current Stanford students who are seeking a legal consultation, specifically, regarding their DACA status can obtain one by emailing the Bechtel International Center at [email protected]. Bechtel staff can arrange a free consultation with an attorney through the Immigrants’ Rights Clinic of Stanford Law School.
- If there are changes to the DACA program as a result of the Supreme Court’s forthcoming decision, Stanford will work with students to address any impacts to their financial support. General information about financial aid for undergraduates and graduate students is available on the Financial Aid Office website.
- Student Affairs is convening a new advisory group including students and professional staff from our community centers, the Bechtel International Center and the Financial Aid Office to advise on university services relating to these issues as they continue to evolve.
- As a reminder, Stanford keeps student and personnel records private and will not share such information with immigration agencies unless legally required to do so. Our Department of Public Safety has no responsibility for immigration enforcement and, consistent with the policy of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office, will not inquire about immigration status in the normal course of its duties and will not participate in other agencies’ immigration enforcement activities unless legally required to do so.
Stanford will continue working to support all members of our community. Please reach out to the resources available whenever you have questions or concerns. Additional information is available at immigration.stanford.edu and undocumented.stanford.edu.