Faculty Senate-General Faculty Council Statement on Immigration Executive Order

On February 1, 2017, both bodies representing UVa faculty—the Faculty Senate and the General Faculty Council—published a statement regarding the recent immigration executive order. The joint statement is significant because it was published by both bodies that are responsible for representing UVa Faculty, and because the statement takes a strong stance against the executive order.

The Law Weekly does not officially endorse the statement nor its sentiments through this news article, but the release of the statement is of particular importance to the Law School community, given both the executive order’s effect on the legal world and the number of faculty members involved on each committee. The Faculty Senate is chaired by UVa Law professor Mimi Riley, and Professors George Cohen and Kim Forde-Mazrui are Senators. The General Faculty Council includes law faculty members Sarah Ware (recently elected to become Chair of the Council this year), Ben Doherty, and Mimi Riley (Ex-Officio as Chair of the Faculty Senate).
The statement is available at http://facultysenate.virginia.edu/faculty-senate-general-faculty-council-statement-immigration-executive-order, and has been reprinted below courtesy of that source.

“The President’s recent executive order banning entry to the United States of citizens from seven predominately Muslim countries, as well as refugees from all countries, is a moral outrage. It threatens lives and divides families, including those of students, staff, and faculty of the University of Virginia. It also threatens the basic values of inclusiveness, equality, and respect for human dignity that we stand for as a university in the public trust. Rather than addressing legitimate security and safety concerns in a responsible and measured way, this drastically overbroad policy needlessly harms decent and talented people who have already been strictly vetted and who pose no demonstrable risk. Despite recent court orders staying parts of the order, much of it remains in effect, and it is therefore an active threat to refugees, immigrants, and Muslim-Americans, including those in our community. We condemn it unequivocally.

We condemn it not only as an offense to human decency and the Constitution, but also because it harms our ability to do our jobs. We are scientists and engineers, physicians and lawyers, historians and philosophers, and business innovators and public servants. We come from all corners of the world to this great University to learn and share knowledge. We depend in turn on communities of learning across the world to enrich our own scholarly endeavors. This discriminatory executive order imperils these relationships, even as it threatens our students and shames our nation.

We call on all faculty to contact their legislators and ask them to condemn this executive order and to urge the President to withdraw it.

As faculty we stand with our students and colleagues who might be harmed by this order, and we resolve to defend their rights and safety to the best of our lawful ability.”