Daniels speaks out against Trump’s ban

January 30, 2017 GMT

WEST LAFAYETTE — Mitch Daniels, president of Purdue University and former Indiana governor, issued a statement on Sunday regarding an executive order signed last week by President Donald Trump.

The order included a 90-day ban on travel to the United States by citizens of Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen; and a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee program.

The ban affected anyone traveling from these countries with a valid visa – including those with an approved refugee application.

"The president’s order related to immigration is a bad idea, poorly implemented, and I hope that he will promptly revoke and rethink it," said Daniels’ statement. "If the idea is to strengthen the protection of Americans against terrorism, there are many far better ways to achieve it."

Omitted from the list of countries in Trump’s order was Saudi Arabia, home to most of the Sept. 11 hijackers, according to the Associated Press, which added that homegrown extremists already in America are a primary concern of federal law enforcement officials.

This order has sparked controversy – including protests at several international airports in the U.S.

But a federal judge in New York issued an emergency order to temporarily bar the U.S. from deporting people from these seven majority Muslim nations affected by the ban, the AP reports.

The judge said travelers who had been detained had a strong argument that their legal rights had been violated. But, according the AP, the Department of Homeland Security said on Sunday that the court ruling would not affect the overall implementation of the White House order.

Around 100 of Purdue’s 40,000 students are from the countries named in Trump’s executive order, and 10 faculty members are citizens of those countries, said a press release from Purdue University.

"Currently, the university is not aware of any of its students, staff or faculty who have been left stranded outside the United States. However, the university remains concerned for them and their families as the result of this order," it said.

Michael A. McRobbie, president of Indiana University, issued a similar statement on Sunday regarding the executive order.

"At Indiana University, we embrace openness to the world. This has long been a hallmark of great global universities such as ours that seek to attract the best students, scholars and researchers from every country and champion the cause of greater cultural understanding," he said.

"The executive order issued on Friday that bars citizens and refugees from certain countries from entering the U.S. is contrary to the very core of our values as an institution committed to excellence and innovation, a diversity of communication and ideas, respect for the dignity of others and engagement in the economic, civic, cultural and social development of our state, our nation and our world."

— from staff reports