Earlier this week, presidents of the five Claremont Colleges joined over thirty peer institutions of higher education in denouncing President Trump’s recent executive order, which halts refugee immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen for 90 days. Trump stated of the executive order, “America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border … The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror.” However, the presidents’ emails to their respective student bodies described Trump’s policy as a ban on Muslim immigration.

Pomona College President David Oxtoby, for example, described Trump’s orders as “deeply troubling” examples of “xenophobia” and “religious discrimination.” President Oxtoby stated that “these actions tear at the fabric of who we are and what we aspire to be.” Pitzer College President Melvin Oliver went so far as to say that “President Trump has altered the American experience, and with it the vision of hope and unity previously shared by most of us.”

President Oliver’s statement continues, “three executive orders … have upended our policies of openness and welcoming,” claiming that the orders have “the practical effect of creating a religious ban against people of Muslim faith.” Though Trump’s orders would likely affect only around 200 million of over 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, President Oliver told the Independent that he believes “America is more beautiful because of its inclusiveness, not despite it.” Oliver stated that “xenophobia – whether targeted at one … or 1.5 billion – goes against America’s founding values,” but did not specify why he thinks Trump’s orders amount to a Muslim ban or what about them is xenophobic.

While noting that Pitzer College, Claremont McKenna College, and Pomona College currently enroll zero students from the seven countries named in the executive order, each of the school presidents made lengthy efforts to reiterate the availability of emotional assistance for students who “feel vulnerable.” President Lara Tiedens of Scripps College ended her own note by stating “We are fortunate to have such a strong network of active, informed, and compassionate individuals who are invested in preserving Scripps as a haven for inclusive excellence,” referencing a December statement naming Scripps “a sanctuary center of higher education” which would follow in the footsteps of Pomona College and Pitzer College to refuse compliance with federal law regarding immigration status.


Image: Flickr

Categories: Campus News
  • Joe F

    Can you publish the emails from the president’s? Seems that would provide the most accurate picture, want to read the story and then confirm just to show em its true

    • Samuel Breslow

      Here is President Oxtoby’s statement for Pomona: https://www.pomona.edu/administration/president/blog/posts/executive-orders. The others will be on the respective college websites. Leaving out the full context is something of a hobby for the CI, so I appreciate that you’re seeking it out.

    • Bic

      If you email them, learn to write first: it should be “presidents” no apostrophe to indicate plural; “its” should have an apostrophe “it’s” means “it is.” (Maybe slang “em” instead of “them” is ok).

  • adorno

    HAHAHAHAHAHA you are so mad all the time dude. spending so much of your time sucking up to daddy donald and your extremely weird audience, you hope that you’ll have one of those welfare journalism jobs at breitbart or “campus reform” when you graduate don’t you? we can all see your twitter account. some of the stuff you post on there… oh man, you must really have a tough time going through the day with all that xenophobic rage bubbling inside you. just admit that you hate most of the people you go to school with and your politics begin and end with donald trump.

    by the way, did you know this guy? he reminds me of you! http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/31/americas/quebec-mosque-shooting-suspect/

  • Zachary Wong

    For reference, here’s the letter from President Chodosh of CMC.


    • Puzzled Alum

      So how is this letter “denouncing President Trump’s recent executive order” or describing “Trump’s policy as a ban on Muslim immigration”?

      • Not puzzled

        It’s not. This is pure clickbait.

  • Dr. Necessitor

    A bit off topic but given the choice between Muslim immigration or non-Muslim immigration, I’ll take the latter. Just a few years ago European cities were absolutely safe to explore both day and night. That is not the case today.