An open letter to the Virginia Tech community from President Tim Sands
January 29, 2017
To members of the Virginia Tech community:
Friday’s U.S. Presidential Executive Order on interior immigration enforcement will have an impact on members of the Virginia Tech community. Among its provisions, the executive order bans visa and green card holders of seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia — from entering the United States for the next 90 days. This may directly impact more than 100 Virginia Tech students from those seven nations as well as teaching and research scholars who are citizens of those nations.
Many in our community have expressed their concerns to me and other senior officials at the university regarding the implications of this executive order for individuals, for their families, and for university operations.
We are currently reaching out to our students and scholars affected by the executive order and have advised them not to travel abroad until we know more about the specific practices that will be implemented.
This situation remains fluid as additional Executive Orders and court rulings emerge, and the entire landscape will likely continue to evolve in the coming days. Virginia Tech is monitoring these developments closely as well as reviewing other changes in immigration laws and policies that could affect members of our community. We have sought guidance from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, and we will continue to communicate the latest developments to our community as necessary.
Virginia Tech is a global land-grant university. Whether it is research supporting the development of agricultural products for export, or attracting global talent to the commonwealth to drive our technology-based economy, or providing our Virginia students with opportunities to engage with the full range of lived experiences represented by our 3,500 international students, our missions are inexorably global in nature.
Consistent with our Principles of Community, we will continue to do all that we can to support and advocate for the international members of our community who are vital to our mission. They are welcomed and cherished members of our community, regardless of immigration status, national origin, religion, or citizenship.
Any international student, scholar, or community member with a concern may email firstname.lastname@example.org or may contact any one of the following university officials listed below.
Additional university contacts:
Director, International Support Services
Outreach and International Affairs
Director, International Graduate Student Services
Associate Dean of Students and Director, Cranwell International Center