U. of C. joins 30 other colleges opposing immigration order

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

The University of Chicago (U. of C.) on Monday, Sept. 18, jointly filed an amicus brief with several other universities in response to President Donald Trump’s revised executive order that bars entry into the U.S. by people from six Muslim-majority countries.

In January, Trump signed an executive order that restricted immigration from seven Muslim countries (Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen), suspends all refugee admission for 120 days, and bars all refugees from Syria.

When the order was issued in January, it faced legal challenges from federal judges nationwide who called for a halt to the order.

In February, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the travel ban should remain suspended, allowing people who were denied entry to continue entering the country.

Trump’s administration crafted a revised executive order in March that banned travelers from six Muslim countries Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days and suspended all refugee admission for 120 days.

Lower courts say the executive order violates the U.S. Constitution and federal immigration law.

The U.S. Supreme Court, in June, reinstated a portion of the executive order, which allowed parts or the order to go into effect.

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the matter next month.

The travel ban “both threatens American higher education and offends important, defining principles of our country,” the colleges and universities say in the brief. “The Order directly threatens amici’s ability to attract persons not only from the six specified countries, but from around the world. The Order contradicts the values that American colleges and universities have traditionally touted as benefits of studying and working here, including the freedom of religion and equality embodied in the First and Fourteenth Amendments.”

The same colleges and universities, in March, filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in April.

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear both of the cases, which is the reason why the new brief was filed.

U. of C. signed the brief with Boston University, Brandeis University, Brown University, Bucknell University, Carnegie Mellon University, Case Western Reserve University, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Middlebury College, Northeastern University, Northwestern University, Rice University, Stanford University, Tufts University, University of Michigan, University of Pennsylvania, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt University, Washington University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Yale University.

t.hill@hpherald.com