MSU President Simon condemns immigration ban in powerful statement
Simon called Trump’s executive order on immigration “deeply concerning”
President Trump’s announcement of an executive order on immigration Friday afternoon was met with immediate unrest and led to protests in airports around the nation. His order has banned anyone coming from the predominantly Muslim countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia from entering the United States. Trump claims his executive order is about the protection of U.S. citizens, not about religion.
The University of Michigan, Western Michigan University and now Michigan State University have all stood up for their immigrant students by refusing to release their immigration statuses. MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon has released a statement which condemns the views Trump has vocalized toward refugees and immigrants.
“President Trump’s executive order on immigration is deeply concerning,” Simon wrote. “It runs counter to the global nature of our communities and our nation…this order, and the manner it was implemented, is not the best approach.”
Refugees and legal green card holders flying into the country were instantly barred from leaving or entering U.S airports, where many were detained without lawyers. Even children and women were detained without food. Those detained were asked a variety of questions, some of which were rumored to have something to do with their views on President Trump. It is not clear when those who are being forced to leave will be able to return, and families have already been separated.
Although Simon agreed that our country “must protect our borders,” she also wrote that we “must ensure that we do not stem the flow of people of goodwill who come and work to make this nation better.”
Simon also expressed her concern for the wellbeing of the students at MSU. The university’s core values are quality, inclusiveness and connectivity, and she views Trump’s order as a threat to all of these values because it encourages segregation of religious and national origins based upon the notion that these people aren’t “American” – despite the cultural identity of America being that of a melting pot, supposedly inclusive to everyone.
“Our students and scholars come from around the world to become Spartans, and then return to the world to make it better,” President Simon wrote.
“We must not allow fear to change the nature of who we are.”