LEWISTON  — Some members of the Bates College community may be feeling the impact of President Donald Trump’s executive order that limits immigration by refugees and people from seven majority Muslim countries.

“I am appalled by the executive order and the inhumane manner in which it is being implemented,” college President Clayton Spencer wrote in a public letter Monday. “The order is antithetical to American values and the principles on which Bates was founded and continues to stand.”

Spencer said that “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.”

She said the school will “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.”

Spencer added, “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.” 

Bates plans to hold a program Thursday for members of the campus community to hear from an immigration attorney, Bates alumnus Tony Derosby, who will describe the president’s order and its implication and answer questions.

Spencer said that in the meantime, “we will work individually with those members of our community who may need guidance related to international work and travel” and will get in touch with Bates students studying abroad or planning to go outside the country.

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

Bowdoin and Colby colleges vow to protect immigrants too

BRUNSWICK — Officials at two other Maine liberal arts colleges say they’ll work to protect immigrant students, faculty and staff in the wake of President Donald Trump’s order limiting travel.

Trump’s order suspends immigration for citizens of seven majority Muslim countries. The presidents of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Colby College in Waterville and Bates College in Lewiston issued statements condemning the move.

Bowdoin College President Clayton Rose said the college will work to safeguard privacy and confidentiality related to immigration status for people on campus.

Colby President David A. Greene made a similar pledge.

— The Associated Press


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