Presidential Executive Order and International Students: Letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security

Friday, February 10, 2017 - 2:15pm
Logo for the American Council on Education

FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHANCELLOR AND BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Ventura County Community College District has signed on with the American Council on Education as a signatory to the following letter to the Secretary of Homeland Security:  

The Honorable John F. Kelly
Secretary of Homeland Security
Washington, DC 20528

January 31, 2017

Dear Secretary Kelly:

Congratulations on your confirmation as Secretary of Homeland Security. You have inherited a wide array of challenges, central among them immigration and the protection of our nation. 

Our colleges and universities have been partners with the Department of Homeland Security in protecting our country since the agency’s creation. We are committed to continuing this important collaboration. It is in that spirit that we write to express our concerns about the Jan. 27, 2017 executive order and wish to set forth principles concerning the role of international students, faculty, researchers and staff on our campuses.

We take seriously the need to safeguard our nation and also the need for the United States to remain the destination of choice for the world’s best and brightest students, faculty, and scholars. International exchange is a core value and strength of American higher education. Moreover, our nation’s welcoming stance to scholars and scientists has benefited the U.S. through goodwill and a long history of scientific and technological advances that have been essential to the economic growth our country has experienced for decades. When they return home they are ambassadors for American values, democracy and the free market.

Our nation can only maintain its global scientific and economic leadership position if it encourages those talented people to come here to study and work. America is the greatest magnet for talented people from around the world and it must remain so.

We are confident that our nation can craft policies that secure us from those who wish to harm us, while welcoming those who seek to study, conduct research and scholarship, and contribute their knowledge and talents to our country. We look forward to building on our partnership with the Department to address these important issues.

Sincerely,

On Behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Ventura County Community College District

Bernard Luskin

Chancellor
Ventura County Community College District