Following the Supreme Court’s decision last week to uphold the latest iteration of the Trump administration’s travel ban, Penn President Amy Gutmann issued a statement calling the ban “inimical” to Penn’s values.
"While we are keenly aware of the need to protect national security, we also firmly believe in our nation’s long-held commitment to the extraordinary value of immigration to our society," Gutmann said in the statement.
In a 5-4 decision, the Court upheld an executive order on June 26 that restricted entry and tightened vetting for people coming to the U.S. from Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen, as well as some from North Korea and Venezuela, according to USA Today. According to CNN, the Court ruled the ban was within the limits of presidential power in order to protect national security.
In a statement released on June 28, Gutmann said although she appreciated the aim of keeping the country safe, the benefits of immigration must be taken into account.
“We continue to be very troubled by the executive order, now upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, that prohibits travelers from seven countries from entering the United States, five of them majority-Muslim,” Gutmann said.
The University’s work is inherently global, Gutmann said, and by restricting travel, the ban is a hindrance to Penn’s mission as an institution.
“Penn’s reach spans the globe, with a commitment to research, teaching, and learning that is relevant to a changing global society. This strengthens our university by exposing our students to diverse viewpoints and cultures; it is good for America’s economy; and it ultimately expands appreciation for American values around the world,” she said. “The Administration’s pursuit of this ban lessens our ability to do this vital work.”
She also pledged to stand by Penn students and faculty affected by the ban.
“Penn will continue to offer support to our students and faculty who may be impacted by the Court’s decision and we will continue to strive to provide a campus that is welcoming to scholars and students from all countries, faiths, and walks of life,” she said.
The executive order upheld by the court was the third version of the travel ban and was issued in September 2017, according to CNN.
Gutmann has also spoken out against past versions of the travel ban, describing the ban in Jan. 2017 as “injurious to our work and inimical to our values,” wording that was repeated in the most recent statement.
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