Penn President Amy Gutmann Rips Into Trump’s Immigration Ban

In a speech delivered during a campus rally and posted online, Gutmann called the president's executive order "injurious to our work and inimical to our values."

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann blasted President Donald Trump‘s executive order on immigration yesterday, calling it “injurious to our work and inimical to our values.” 

Gutmann’s comments, which were delivered during a rally held on the university’s College Green, were posted in letter form on the university’s website three days after Trump signed the order, which heavily restricts U.S. entry for immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries.

“The damage already done to the lawful freedoms and opportunities of our students and colleagues, here and around the world, is undeniable and indefensible,” the letter reads. “This Order will weaken the promise of educational opportunity, intellectual discovery and global engagement that so distinguishes American universities.”

The letter, which calls for the university to “stand together, united in our support of beloved colleagues, students, friends, and families … no matter where they come from or how they worship,” follows protests that drew thousands at the Philadelphia International Airport on Sunday, after security officials detained several migrants and forced two Christian Syrian immigrant families to return to Doha, Qatar.

With Gutmann’s letter, Penn joins many universities in the Philly area that have condemned Trump’s executive order, which some are calling “a Muslim ban.” Several universities have warned foreign students not to travel.

Staff at Penn are currently assisting the community with “legal counsel and other resources,” according to the letter.

“In addition to those efforts, we will do everything in our power, speak to every friend and ally, and leave no stone unturned in our efforts to urge President Trump to change course and rectify the horrible damage this Order has caused,” Gutmann writes.

Gutmann, the daughter of a Jewish immigrant who flew Nazi Germany, was initially cautious to weigh in on controversies surrounding Trump, who graduated from the university’s Wharton School of Business in 1968. In recent months, she has spoken out, declaring Penn a “sanctuary” for undocumented students.

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