Michigan colleges react to Trump immigration orders

President Donald Trump, center, with Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Defense Secretary James Mattis, right, watching, signs an executive action on extreme vetting at the Pentagon in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan colleges are responding to President Donald Trump’s executive order that banned immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

The order signed Friday suspended the U.S. refugee program for 120 days and halted entrance to travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

Sunday, Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas released a statement saying that the university “will continue its long tradition of study abroad and welcoming to our campus students and faculty from other lands.”

Haas said he had instructed university staff to be in touch with students and staff who may be affected and said anyone who experiences a problem should contact the university for help.

>>Online: Haas’ complete statement

University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel released a statement on the issue on Saturday, saying that the “leadership of the university is committed to protecting the rights and opportunities currently available to all members of our academic community, and to do whatever is possible within the law to continue to identify, recruit, support and retain academic talent, at all levels, from around the world.”

His statement listed university policy regarding immigration status and nondiscrimination, including that it does not share immigration status information and that campus police won’t ask about that status.

>>Online: U-M’s announcement

Michigan State University told The State News student newspaper that it has same policy of not releasing immigration status. The newspaper also said that MSU has been in contact with students from the nations listed in the ban and that officials will meet this week to get a handle on what the order will mean for the university.

On its website, Western Michigan University warned students to “use caution when traveling as right now, all travel may be considered risky.”