Statement on Executive Order Regarding Immigration

Dear Members of the Bates Community,

This past Friday, President Trump signed an executive order that, among other things, bans nationals from seven countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen from entering the U.S. for at least 90 days; prevents the entry of refugees from Syria indefinitely; and suspends provisions of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days. Like many of you, I am appalled by the executive order and the inhumane manner in which it is being implemented. The order is antithetical to American values and the principles on which Bates was founded and continues to stand.

Beyond the general anxiety and uncertainty caused by the executive order, it is particularly disturbing for our international students and may affect some members of our campus community and their families personally. Accordingly, I write to share with you the actions the college is taking to understand the implications of the order, to work with individuals who may be directly affected, and to support members of our community who are distressed by what this action says about who we are and what we stand for.

At Bates, we actively recruit students from across the globe. We have many students whose families are recent immigrants, and our local community is defined by immigration historically and in the present day. Furthermore, our students, faculty, and staff travel, work, and study around the world.

With these considerations in mind, Josh McIntosh, Dean of Students, Tina Mangieri, Associate Dean for Off-Campus Study, and James Reese, Associate Dean for International Student Programs, have been working this weekend to organize a program on campus with a leading immigration attorney from Pierce Atwood LLP, Tony Derosby ’80. The program will occur on Thursday, February 2 at 7:00 p.m. in Commons 221/222, and it is open to all members of the campus community. Tony will begin by providing an overview of the executive order, related court actions, and ongoing implications, and then we will open the floor for questions and discussion.

In the meantime, we will work individually with those members of our community who may need guidance related to international work and travel. We will also be in touch with all Bates students currently studying abroad or in the process of applying to do so to offer specific information and guidance.

Between now and Thursday, should you need a place to discuss your concerns, please do not hesitate to be in touch with James Reese or Tina Mangieri. Additionally, you may find useful information on the following websites: National Immigration Law Center or American Immigration Council.

These are very distressing developments, and I urge us to continue to approach them with clarity, courage, and solidarity.



8 Responses to “Statement on Executive Order Regarding Immigration”

  1. Dean Stein says:

    Dear President Spencer,

    Well done! Encouraged (and not surprised) to see Bates step up and do the right thing!
    Best wishes,
    Dean Stein (prouder than ever to be the violin teacher at Bates)

  2. Richard Thomas says:

    Thank you for engaging the Bates community in this important issue. I hope that Bates will extend this support to the vibrant Somali community in L-A who must feel very insecure at this time.

  3. Matt Karlsen says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful response, President Spencer.

  4. Mary Griffin says:

    Thank you to the President for addressing these issues and particularly for making the support of all Bates students the priority it must be.

  5. Melissa Bates Weiss says:

    Thank you Clayton for your thoughtful and encouraging remarks, and for meeting this issue head on, with dignity and fortitude.
    As always, I am proud to be a member of the extensive Bates community.

  6. Katy Gannon-Janelle says:

    We feel so proud that our daughter chose a college with such wonderful leadership. Clayton Spenser is a gift to us all.

  7. Robert C Drayton says:

    I know immigration both from 1939 (Germany) and the 19teens(Armenia) personally.
    Safety for America is important and your comments are not helpful. My children are 1/2 German and 1/2 Armenian….Much death on both sides .Don’t let politics sway your impulses.

  8. Deana Giamette Boyages says:

    Thank you very much for your reassuring and thoughtful comments on the current immigration situation. It is at times like these where Bates shows compassionate leadership, which makes us all so very proud. Is it at all possible for those of us that are not near campus, but would like to hear the presentation of Tony Derosby to watch via live stream? It is important for all of us to continue to be informed on these issues and I can think of no better resource than Bates. Thank you.