At Prince George's Community College,
I am aware that many of us are attempting to understand the Executive Order
signed by President Donald Trump on Friday, January 27, 2017 that imposes a ban
on individuals entering the United States, for at least the next 90 days, from
seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. As a diverse educational institution residing
in a diverse community, we have long upheld a commitment to diversity and
respect, two of the College's values.
Just yesterday, the Diversity Committee held a roundtable and discussed
ways to support individuals who may receive undue and unwarranted attention as
a result of this new climate in which we find ourselves.
In reviewing the statement sent last
evening from the Office of the County Executive, Mr. Rushern Baker stated,
"Just last year, the Prince George’s County Council unanimously passed two
resolutions that I supported, CR-009-2016 and CR-002-2017. These resolutions were introduced and passed
to combat any activities that lead to anti-immigrant activity, racial bias and
discrimination, hate crimes, and harassment in Prince George’s County as well
as to protect refugees in Prince George’s County. The County Executive believes that the spirit
and intent of President Trump’s Executive Orders are in direct conflict with
these resolutions and applauds the County Council for putting these resolutions
in place before the President’s actions were ever administered.”
I reference this portion of the
County Executive's statement because of the need to be proactive as we work
with colleagues and students who have the potential to be impacted by the
current Executive Order or those that may follow. Several members of our PGCC family are from
some of the countries listed in the order, and as such, may be concerned about
their abilities to travel or about their families. I urge you to consider delaying travel as the
higher education community continues to wrestle with the meanings, intent, and
implications of the Executive Order.
The College will continue to seek
guidance from the Associations that represent our sector in the nation's
capital and legal advice, as necessary.
While the order is being challenged in the Courts and in the Department
of Justice, we are still left with questions.
None of this should redirect us, as a college community, from who we
are, who we serve, and why we exist.
What I continue to be most proud of is that we have done tremendous work
over the past years to ensure that each of us understands and values the
religious, gender, ethnic, racial, sexual orientation and other protected
differences of our college population.
While we will work to keep you posted
on the implications and new meanings of the ban, please know that I will be
reaching out to the International Education Center and the Wellness Centerto ensure they can provide updated information and/or
direct students and employees to resources that are not currently available at