Support for international College Community
Dear College Community,
Henry Ford College has been a welcoming environment for international faculty, staff and students for several decades, nurturing and promoting their education, skills and talents for the benefit of not only our local communities but the United States and the World. The College is committed to providing our continuing support and resources to our international students and personnel, as the law permits. Currently, the College leadership is reviewing potential changes to immigration laws, the President’s Executive Orders and court decisions that may impact our international College community.
On January 27, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order suspending the U.S. Refugee Admission Program for 120 days for all refugees, barring entry for Syrian refugees indefinitely, blocking entry to the U.S. for citizens and/or refugees of Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, Iran and Libya for 90 days, and barring green card holders from returning (with some exceptions). Naturalized U.S. citizens from these countries are not affected.
On January 28, 2017, a Federal District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York issued an emergency order staying the removal of “individuals with refugee applications approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services as part of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program, holders of valid immigrant and non-immigrant visas, and other individuals from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya Somalia and Yemen legally authorized to enter the United States.” The Court’s order is temporary pending a full hearing on the constitutionality of the President’s Executive Order and it does not address reentry to the United States. Similar rulings were issued by Federal judges in Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington State.
On January 29, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security stated it will comply with the various court rulings but continue to enforce the remainder of the President’s Executive Order prohibiting travel into the United States.
Until there is more clarity on these issues, international students and personnel are strongly encouraged to consider not traveling outside of the United States, including travel to Canada. If you must travel, seek legal counsel before you go.
The College supports our international College community through its long standing nondiscrimination and privacy policies and practices. The College prohibits discrimination based on national origin, religion and other individual characteristics protected by law. It provides equitable access to all College jobs, academic courses, programs, benefits and services. The College is involved in the following efforts in support of this policy.
- The College does not request information from personnel or students regarding their national origin or immigration status.
- Tuition rates are based on residency only.
- The College complies with all federal privacy laws and does not share information about immigration status except when required by law to do so.
- Full-time international admissions staff are available to ensure adequate support for international students.
- The International Student Services Office provides opportunities for access and support of many services and referral sources for legal immigration matters.
- Full-time confidential counseling support is available to provide confidential support to international students and guide F1 immigrant and undocumented students.
- The College’s Council of World Cultures provides educational and celebratory events for our international community.
- The College’s International Friendship Program provides cultural enrichment for all participating students and personal and professional networking opportunities.
- The College is working with the Syrian American Rescue Network to promote college options for students.
- The College has worked successfully with F1 students to obtain temporary protected status to avoid deportation.
- The Hawk’s Nest, run by the College Student Council, provides food, personal care items and emergency financial support to all students in need including our international students.
- The leadership of the College is also reviewing proposed bipartisan legislation known as the BRIDGE ACT. BRIDGE stands for Bar Removal of Individuals who Dream and Grow our Economy. It would allow individuals who arrived in the U.S. as children to stay in the U.S. for another three years without threat of deportation, thus providing Congress time to address the immigration system.
- The Policy Committee of the College Board of Trustees is also reviewing a request from faculty that the College declare itself a “Sanctuary College” and the implications of doing so. Input from students was gathered at an open forum on the subject this month.
The College welcomes ideas from its College community on other areas of support and will continue to keep you informed as new developments occur.
If you have any individual concerns, please contact Leyla Field in the International Students Office at (313) 317-6842 or the Human Resources Office at (313) 845-9820.
Henry Ford College supports having a safe community and a safe country, and at the same time we support mutual respect and safety of our international students, our domestic students and all of our personnel. Working together, we will achieve great things.
Stanley Jensen, PhD
President of Henry Ford College