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16th February 2017

US universities to sue Donald Trump over travel ban

Several US universities are supporting a lawsuit which aims to sue President Donald Trump

In support of an existing lawsuit, Harvard, Yale, and Stanford are just three of 17 Ivy League universities in the United States that have filed papers in Brooklyn federal court challenging Donald Trump’s travel ban.

President Trump signed an Executive Order in January that blocked the entry of refugees and citizens of several Muslim-majority nations — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen — from entering the US.

In a press release issued jointly by the universities, they stated: “By prohibiting persons from freely travelling to and from this country, the Executive Order divides students and their families, impairs the ability of American universities to draw the finest international talent, and inhibits the free exchange of ideas.”

They added that the ban has “serious and chilling implications.”

The government refuted the lawsuit since no students are in custody, but according to The Independent, the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously supported the blocking of this ban after upholding a lower court’s ruling. The President’s administration has stated they will fight this decision.

However, the universities have said the travel ban has already had “damaging effects” that “have already been widely felt by American universities,” adding that there is potential for the Executive Order to continue to do.

Another university amongst the 17 is Johns Hopkins in Maryland. The President of the school said that the ban “takes our country down the ominous path of erecting barriers not on the basis of a demonstrated security threat but on the basis of religion.”

He added: “The order stands in unambiguous opposition to our country’s long-cherished values and ideals.”

Scholars worldwide have called for a boycott of conferences within the US in response to the order. The court document claims that more than 42,000 academics from around the world have also signed an online petition expressing their opposition of this Executive Order.

According to the petition, there were over one million international students welcomed by US universities in the last academic year.

For instance, Yale’s international faculty makes up around 10 per cent of students, whilst 16 per cent of Columbia University’s undergraduate students are international.

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