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Credit: Avalon Morell

Penn President Amy Gutmann expounded upon her recent condemnation of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban by adding her name to a letter critical of the ban signed by 47 other university presidents.

The letter is addressed to the 1968 Wharton graduate, and is very direct: “We write as presidents of leading American colleges and universities to urge you to rectify or rescind the recent executive order closing our country’s borders to immigrants and others from seven majority-Muslim countries and to refugees from throughout the world,” it reads. “If left in place, the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country.”

The immigration order has garnered backlash on campus and nationally. Penn students and Philadelphia citizens protested the ban at the airport on Sunday, students and staff members from different faith groups on campus gathered at the LOVE statue yesterday to stand with affected students and Penn affiliates marched to protest the order on Thursday night.

Gutmann echoed the tone of the letter on Tuesday night on College Green, calling it “injurious to our work and inimical to our values.”

“This action unfairly targets seven predominantly Muslim countries in a manner inconsistent with America’s best principles and greatest traditions,” the letter reads. “We welcome outstanding Muslim students and scholars from the United States and abroad, including the many who come from the seven affected countries. Their vibrant contributions to our institutions and our country exemplify the value of the religious diversity that has been a hallmark of American freedom since this country’s founding. The American dream depends on continued fidelity to that value.”

The activism on campus and from Gutmann hasn’t come without backlash. A representative for College Republicans criticized the administration at the University Council meeting on Wednesday, saying the emails condemning the immigration order wrongly involved the University in partisan political affairs. College and Wharton freshman Michael Moroz said that the College Republicans were “dismayed” by the repeated emails from the administration and added that he thinks “this kind of political debate is not within the purview of public positions the University ought to take.”

Moroz said he thought the University should not take a stance on political issues because it “threatens to alienate students who hold reasonable but different beliefs from many on this campus.”