Statement from Chancellor William H. McRaven on Presidential Executive Order

AUSTIN — I believe that the talent, energy, and ideas flowing into the United States of America – and to UT System institutions – from countries around the world are among our greatest strengths. The men and women who show up at our shores and our doors – ready to study, work, and participate – make us stronger, smarter, more competitive, and more attuned to the rest of the globe. 

As everyone is now well aware, last Friday the President issued an executive order on immigration which, as we understand it, will block most travelers from seven predominately Muslim nations for 90 days, suspend all refugee admissions for 120 days, and indefinitely bar all refugees from Syria. 

Over the weekend, federal judges in four courts issued rulings blocking some part of the President’s order. Implementation of the order was reported to be uneven and confusing at airports in the U.S. and overseas. 

I would hope that my commitment to our nation’s security cannot be questioned. I stand behind our nation’s efforts to ensure all our citizens are free from the threat that terrorism can bring to our shores.

But, I also stand behind the core values we hold as a nation. We ask that our leaders in Washington, D.C., move quickly to clarify the intent of this order, bring reasonable and expeditious process to its implementation, and send the message to the rest of the world that the United States remains open and welcoming to those who want to come here to learn, work and to live the American experience.

In the meantime, members of our University of Texas community from affected countries should seek counsel before traveling. For additional guidance, a good place to start is with your institution’s travel or international office, which should be your central point of contact before and during university-related international travel. 

In addition, any traveler who is currently abroad should do their best to remain informed of the developing situation. If they need advice on traveling back to the U.S., they should contact their institution’s travel or international office or International SOS, a service used by every UT institution to facilitate medical assistance and security assistance for its travelers abroad.

Finally, our staff at UT System Administration in Austin stands ready to help our institutions and their travelers.   

In today’s world, our faculty, staff and students need to travel abroad to advance our missions of research, teaching and patient care. So when members of our community must travel, we want them to return to the U.S. safely. We are and will remain committed to that principle, and to them.

--Chancellor William H. McRaven

About the University of Texas System

Educating students, providing care for patients, conducting groundbreaking basic, applied and clinical research, and serving the needs of Texans and the nation for more than 130 years, The University of Texas System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. With 14 institutions and an enrollment of more than 228,000, the UT System confers more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees, educates almost two-thirds of the state’s health care professionals annually and accounts for almost 70 percent of all research funds awarded to public institutions in Texas. The UT System’s operating budget for FY 2017 is $17.9 billion, including $3 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. With more than 20,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and many members of the National Academies – and nearly 80,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.

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