Students gather for the International Food Festival at Eastern Mennonite University in fall 2016. (EMU file photo)

President, provost address executive order on immigration

President Susan Schultz Huxman and Provost Fred Kniss released the following statement today.

Greetings EMU community,

As many of you know, this weekend an executive order was issued by the White House banning entry to the United States for people from seven countries and halting the visa interview waiver program. This decision and its consequences impact our international students, their families, and other members of our campus community, including many alumni and our global partners working with the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

This sweeping new order appears to collide with our mission “to prepare students to serve and lead in a global context.” We are monitoring this move carefully. This morning, university staff have reached out to each international student. We will continue to communicate a message of advocacy and support in the coming days and weeks.

Provost Fred Kniss and I have expressed concern to our local and state elected officials. In addition, I meet with Commonwealth leaders in Richmond this week, a previously scheduled meeting where I can now address this agenda.

Each one of our four shared values at EMU – Christian discipleship, community, service and peacebuilding – is put to the test by this executive order. So too is our collective work to “welcome the stranger” as Jesus called us to do.

We will work carefully and diligently to ensure that we can continue to fulfill this important mission for our community, state, country and world, as well as support in our midst those impacted by these developments. Blessings to all as we navigate these new directives.

Discussion on “President, provost address executive order on immigration

  1. Wonderful…please continue to give witnesses to the peace and reconciliation which Christ brings. I am thankful for the work of all at EMU.

  2. I applaud the thoughtful response and am even more convinced that EMU can be, and is, a light to the world. I am reminded of the EMC Peace Club participation in the march on Washington in November 1969 to protest the Vietnam War. Several points:
    1. Protests can be effective, but may have (sometimes unintended) consequences.
    2. A Wikipedia posting notes Richard Nixon’s reaction to that Peace March – to the effect, “I will not be swayed.” Nixon subsequently resigned from the Presidency.
    3. Were we (collectively) prepared to deal with the National Guard shooting of a student at Kent State in May 1970?
    4. Is it possible that President Trump’s “tough love” approach (although flawed) has merit?

  3. I agree, EMU can be a “light for the world” in this most difficult time. Thank you for recognizing the marginalized people of the world and our American ideal and responsibility of protecting those who need assistance around the world. We must all stand in solidarity of demanding the truth from our leaders, not an “alternate truth” from twitter feeds.

  4. The Kingdom of God is by it’s very nature International in scope and make up (Matt. 28:19). Governments are responsible for their own citizens. Christians hold dual citizenship (Phil. 3:20) and sometimes are faced with conflicting “laws”. While we are to be in submission to the authorities (Rom. 13:1), our highest obligation is to God (Acts 5:29). “Welcome the stranger” may include risks that those in positions of authority – whether it’s government officials (Country) or parents (home), need to thoughtfully weigh & consider. We live in a dangerous time & world. This Executive Order was announced as “temporary” – input around common sense concerns should be channeled respectfully thru our elected leaders. And don’t forget to pray for “all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives” (l Tim. 2:2)

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