The new restrictions on immigration to the United States by residents of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen that were announced on Friday by President Trump are both confusing and disturbing. We want to assure you that Duke has reached out to our students, faculty and staff from the affected countries to offer support and guidance during this difficult time. We are in constant contact with immigration experts, other universities and national associations to understand the implications of the new policies, parts of which have already been successfully challenged in Federal court. While the circumstances and implementation appear to be changing with great frequency, at this point, we have advised individuals from the affected countries avoid all international travel for the immediate future.
Duke University is committed to, and is greatly enriched by, the open exchange of students, scholars and ideas from all over the globe. We are deeply concerned about the well-being of students, faculty and staff who may be impacted by the policies that have now been put in place, and will join with the rest of higher education to bring these concerns to the attention of policymakers and the public.
To that end, we want to restate our fundamental commitment to ensuring that all students and faculty can focus on what brought them here in the first place: to get a world-class education and pursue scholarship in an environment that supports them regardless of their background. While the current environment remains unsettled, we want to restate (see https://today.duke.edu/2016/12/message-president-brodhead-immigration-issues) that Duke University cannot and will not share confidential student records beyond those already required by law (such as SEVIS) without a subpoena.
In the meantime, we encourage all members of the Duke community to utilize the university’s support services, including Duke Reach, Duke Visa Services and the International House if you have questions.
We expect there will continue to be changes and new developments over the next several days and will keep the campus updated as we learn more information.
Richard Brodhead, President
Sally Kornbluth, Provost