Penn’s Philosophy Department released a statement denouncing 1968 Wharton graduate and President Donald Trump’s recent executive order restricting immigration.
The federal policy, signed on Friday, imposes a 90-day ban on immigrant and non-immigrant entry to the United States from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Trump also halted the United States refugee programs for 120 days.
In a statement, the Philosophy Department described Trump’s actions as “deeply troubling” and “antithetical to our values as philosophers, scholars and human beings.”
Michael Weisberg, a professor and chair of the department, believes that the travel and immigration ban has many practical and moral consequences that require clarification.
“The values of the University are cosmopolitan,” Weisberg told The Daily Pennsylvanian. “This is a place of scholarship and learning for everybody, and to have an across-the-board ban on immigration, and especially on refugees, it’s just the antithesis of everything that we believe in.”
Weisberg added that he and his colleagues felt that releasing a statement about their feelings regarding Trump’s executive order was the least they could do and emphasized the philosophy faculty’s desire to “echo some of the things that came out of the administration a few weeks ago when the issue of sanctuary campuses was discussed.”
“Penn is a place for everybody,” Weisberg said. “Scholarship and education don’t have national borders.”
The faculty also expressed their belief that the executive order is harmful to the University.
“We are committed to creating a respectful and safe space for every student to learn,” the statement said, “and will do our utmost to help any faculty, students, and staff affected by this order.”
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