Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Immigration Executive Order and Resources

Feb. 2, 2017

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

I want to follow up with everyone after last night's panel discussion on the changing landscape of immigration policy in the United States and its impact on our students, faculty and staff. I know that many were not able to attend the discussion and for those who did attend, many of you, like me, are still processing all of the information that was shared.

Our discussion last night began with a presentation by Madeline Choi Cronin, an immigration attorney from Iandoli Desai & Cronin P.C., that included a comprehensive overview of U.S. immigration policy and recent changes. The slides from the presentation may be found on the ISSO website. If you go to the last slide in this presentation, you will find a list of organizations that are currently providing pro bono advice to those individuals and their families who have been impacted by recent changes in immigration policy. In addition, for Brandeis faculty and staff, our office of Human Resources provides legal benefits for employees through the employee assistance program.

In times of sudden change, there will always be a great deal of speculation on what may or may not happen next. I urge you to base any decisions about travel, changes to one's visa status or the status of dependents, employment plans, as well as plans for future study more on what is actually known, rather than what is rumored. To this end I encourage you to use the resources of the International Students and Scholars Office in Kutz Hall, as they receive frequent legal updates about this unfolding situation. Our chaplains, the counseling center and the Intercultural Center are all superb people and places to find community and support in these difficult times.

At Brandeis, we remain committed to supporting all of our students, staff, faculty and scholars regardless of their national background or country of origin. I have been heartened by the outpouring of offers from alumni, parents, faculty, and staff to help those impacted by the recent executive order. We will keep you updated on efforts to organize this support as well as other actions undertaken by the university. As was stated in President Liebowitz's letter to the community Jan. 27, "Brandeis was founded on the principle of openness to all, and with a core belief that the free exchange of ideas is essential to and consistent with our mission. We remain guided by these values."

Best regards,

Lisa M. Lynch