NAFSA Commends Court of Appeals Unanimous Decision on Executive Order


Court Finds Federal Government Offered No Evidence that Executive Order Makes America Safer


Rebecca Morgan, 202.737.3699 x4449,

Washington, February 10, 2017 — A federal appeals court panel today rejected the Trump administration’s request to reinstate challenged portions of an executive order, which if enacted, would ban U.S. entry of thoroughly-vetted refugees and citizens of seven nations in the Middle East and Africa. The following is a statement from Esther D. Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

“NAFSA commends the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for its decision to deny the federal government’s emergency request to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) on the executive order. The court’s decision is another reminder of why America has a strong system of checks and balances, which is the firm basis for our democracy.

“We appreciate the recognition by the Court of Appeals that the executive order does not only impact individuals from the seven countries but also our own U.S. institutions of higher education. As the court noted, the executive order would damage the ability of our public colleges and universities to 'advance their educational goals.' We take pride in the educational opportunities offered by our institutions of higher education and support the court’s decision to protect them from irreparable harm.

“Hundreds of millions of travelers have safely entered and exited the United States over the years, benefiting our economy, our national security and our communities. For those who would argue that America can’t have both security and globally engaged universities, it’s important to remember that international students, scholars, exchange visitors and refugees are the most closely vetted and monitored groups of any visitors. Generations of foreign policy leaders agree that students and scholars are among our nation’s greatest long-term security assets, and we are pleased that the court recognizes true security lies in understanding the nature of threats and focusing on those who intend us harm, not on those who want to help our communities and universities grow.”