Stanford Community Responds to Immigration Ban

How many Stanford Students are directly impacted by the ban?

The Graduate Student Council (GSC) reports that 73 students at Stanford were affected by the executive order that banned nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, including four undergraduate students. (Stanford Daily)

Several graduate students returned to the United States earlier than planned to avoid the ban, and one PhD candidate was detained and handcuffed after landing in New York.

Read their personal stories:

Jan 28: Sudanese student at Stanford detained, handcuffed at JFK airport (San Jose Mercury) (The New York Times)

Jan 29: Facebook post from Ramin Ahmari, a junior directly affected. "America, the place I went to for opportunity, academia and tolerance, has suddenly become a golden cage, one that hates the intersectionality of my identity in more than just one way—a fact it has made painfully clear now,"

Jan 30: International students reeling from Trump's travel ban (Stanford Daily)

Jan 30: Sudanese Stanford Ph.D. Student Speaks Out After Being Detained at JFK Under Trump Muslim Ban (Democracy Now) Video interview with Nisrin Elamin

Feb 2: Stanford: Trump immigration ban 'deeply antithetical' to university values (Palo Alto Weekly) Anita Husen, director of The Markaz: Resource Center, which supports the Stanford Muslim community, said that there are students, faculty and staff who are currently out of the country and cannot return, and others who have had to cancel academic and personal plans to travel abroad.

For example, junior Ramin Ahmari's life was thrown into "a state of uncertainty." He was born and raised in Germany by Iranian parents and "holds dual citizenship in both countries, although he doesn't identify as Iranian and has never lived there." He has decided to give up two minors and study abroad in Oxford, and will not leave the country until he finishes his undergraduate degree and gets a job. 

How do I get more information on the travel ban?

Bechtel International Center: Contact for questions on urgent travel. Please include your phone number in your email.

University guidance on immigration issues:

Other Stanford resources from Stanford Global Studies

Q&A with Stanford Law School Faculty:

Statements by the Stanford community

Administration: Community Letter from University Leadership | University statement of principles on international and undocumented persons | Bechtel International Center (see e-mails below) | President Marc Tessier-Lavigne's comments to the Faculty Senate on Jan 26, before the Executive Order was issued | T-L signs on to collective letter from university presidents | Stanford helps author amicus brief (see below) | T-L's Comments to Faculty Senate on Feb 9

Faculty: Jewish Studies Faculty (Stanford Daily) | Faculty Senate unanimously denounces Trump’s travel ban (Stanford Daily) | Sanctuary campus statement: Program in Writing and Rhetoric (Stanford Daily) | Letter calling for more action from the Administration (Stanford Daily) | Statement from the Iranian Studies Program

Students: Asian American Graduate Student Association AAGSA (Stanford Daily), Stanford Asian American Activism Committee SAAAC (via APALA)

Alumni: Stanford Asian Pacific American Alumni Club (SAPAAC) Letter to Community

If you have more news or statements by members of the Stanford community, please contact

How else are Stanford students and alumni taking action?


Filing a lawsuit

Stanford student, ACLU sue Trump over immigration ban: "Hadil Al-Mowafak, a freshman studying at Stanford with an F-1 student visa, joined a UC Berkeley Ph.D. candidate and a San Diego college student in filing the lawsuit Thursday through the ACLU." They are "suing President Donald Trump for ordering what they say is an unconstitutional immigration ban against seven Muslim-majority countries ... Al-Mowafak alleges that she is unable to visit her husband in Yemen because of an executive order Trump signed Jan. 27 ... The California students’ lawsuit, and similar lawsuits filed across the country, say that Trump’s order is an 'unlawful attempt to discriminate against Muslims and to establish a preference for one religion over another.'" (San Jose Mercury News, Stanford Daily, Palo Alto Weekly)


Visiting a Congressperson's office

Andrea Martinez '16, Samir Raiyani '98 and Christine Su '08, MBA '15, MS '15 visit a Congressional office to share their views with their representative. Christine writes:

Today we and other small business owners based in San Mateo, along with our employees, went over to Congresswoman Jackie Speier's office to urge opposition to the administration agenda.

This is what small business looks like—all of us are or have immigrant parents, cousins, and friends, and hire employees on OPTs, H1B visas, green cards. I was on Obamacare while starting my company. We are members and allies of the queer community. We want our local offices and services to work for us, not the federal government.

According to the director of the congresswoman's district office, "A group of constituents who care enough to show up at the office like you did is the most powerful statement you can make." We literally grabbed everyone on our office floor at lunch and walked over. This isn't hard. Go visit your elected officials! Let them know you're watching their votes.


Gathering and Sharing Resources

Van Anh Tran '13, a member of the Issues & Advocacy Committee of SAPAAC, has compiled the following resources for all people to know their rights.

Know Your Rights!

All persons have certain protections under the United States Constitution, whether you are a citizen or visitor to the country. If you are interested in finding out more about your rights, please visit:

iAmerica: "Know Your Rights" Know Your Rights material is also available in SpanishPolish,  KoreanTagalogSimplified ChineseVietnameseKhmerHindi and Haitian Creole.

National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) 24/7 immigration hotline in Korean & English: 1-844-500-3222.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ)
AAAJ's Los Angeles chapter provides many "know your rights" resources:

The resources include KYR cards (made by AAAJ-Atlanta) in the following languages: ArabicBengaliBurmeseChineseGujaratiKarenKhmerKoreanNepaliUrduVietnamese


Jan 26: Executive Order leaked describing immigration ban. Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne mentions the news in his remarks to the Faculty Senate (summary, full remarks)

Jan 27: President Donald Trump issues an Executive Order entitled "Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States" (White House)

Jan 27, Jan 30: Bechtel Center sends e-mails to students (see below)

Jan 28: Community letter from Stanford leadership on immigration

“As an academic institution and as a community, Stanford welcomes and embraces students and scholars from around the world who contribute immeasurably to our mission of education and discovery. Inclusion and nondiscrimination are core values of our community, and they extend to people from around the world regardless of citizenship or nationality. We recognize that those who set national immigration policy must account for national security considerations to keep our country safe. But policies that restrict the broad flow of people and ideas across national borders, or that have the effect or appearance of excluding people based on religion or ethnicity, are deeply antithetical to both our mission and our values.”

Jan 29: Stanford’s support for our international and undocumented community, also referred to as a Statement of Principles

Jan 30: Jewish Studies faculty statement on Trump executive orders (Stanford Daily)

100 AAPI Organizations Sign Letter of Resistance vs. Trump, including the Stanford Asian American Activism Committee (Press releasePDF)

Feb 2: Stanford faculty pen an open letter to the University administration calling for bolder action in defense of immigrants and refugees (view draft letter) (Stanford Daily), including action to expand financial aid for undocumented students if the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programs is terminated

Feb 2: Letter to the community from the Program in Writing and Rhetoric: Sanctuary campus statement from members of the Program in Writing and Rhetoric (Stanford Daily)

Feb 2: Open Letter to Trump from University Presidents (includes Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne) [PDF] 48 university presidents have asked the White House to “rectify or rescind” the order. “If left in place, the order threatens both American higher education and the defining principles of our country. The order specifically prevents talented, law-abiding students and scholars from the affected regions from reaching our campuses.”

Feb 2: EVENT for those directly impacted by the ban

Feb 2: EVENT for the broader Stanford community

Feb 9: Tessier-Lavigne makes additional remarks to Faculty Senate: "Let me be clear: We intend to do everything in our power to protect and support our students, faculty and staff, including those who are undocumented. They are equal members of our community." (transcript)

Feb 13: Stanford has joined 16 other universities in filing an amicus brief challenging the executive order on immigration. The brief argues that the travel ban it imposed on people from seven countries threatens the universities’ academic mission. (Stanford News Service, Palo Alto Weekly) [PDF of amicus brief]

Related Newspaper Op-eds

Jan 30: "On Terror" Ethan Chua (Stanford Daily)

Feb 1: American Middle Eastern Network for Dialogue at Stanford (AMENDS) Summit at Stanford (Stanford Daily), a group whose April conference has been impacted by the executive order

Feb 3: "Losing the High Ground" Nicholas Obletz ’17 (Stanford Daily)

Bechtel International Center E-mails to Stanford Students

Date: January 27, 2017
Subject: UPDATED: URGENT: Executive Order signed suspending entry into the U.S.

Dear Members of the Stanford community:

This afternoon President Trump signed the Executive Order suspending entry into the U.S. as immigrants and non-immigrants (F/J visa) for 90 days from Iraq and Syria, and from countries of particular concern to the new administration (Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran and Yemen). 

Our recommendation is not to travel outside the U.S. at this time. We will keep you updated as analysis of this Executive Order unfolds.

Bechtel and other campus partners have met this afternoon to discuss the current situation and have planned a gathering at the law school next week. This gathering will include experts in immigration law who can inform our effected Stanford community members about their rights. There will also be other campus offices present to describe resources and provide support.

An email will be sent to you at the beginning of next week about the time and place of this gathering. Please know that the advisors at Bechtel are here to support and advise you.


The Bechtel International Center, Stanford University

Date: January 30, 2017
Subject: What You Should Know: Information For Stanford Community Members Affected by the Muslim Ban

Dear Students, 

This event is meant for those in the community who will be affected by the ban.  
There will be another event for others who are interested to learn more about the ban and support the community. We'll keep everyone updated. [Date][Time]

Executive orders banning travelers from 7 Muslim-majority countries and suspending the refugee program have created widespread concern throughout our communities. Stanford students and visiting scholars from the listed countries, as well as those who have family members from those countries, are particularly at risk, and some have already experienced trouble returning to the United States after travel abroad.  In addition, future policy changes may expand the list of those affected to include citizens of other predominantly Muslim countries, and may include other effects on American Muslim communities.

This information session will provide information on the legal changes and how Stanford community members can protect themselves in the face of these changes.  It will also address other efforts at the university to support members of our community who are affected, including mental health support as well a broader advocacy efforts. Following the presentation, members of the audience will have a chance to ask individual questions from the immigration lawyers present. In order to keep this event a safe space for those who are affected by the new policies, this event is not open to the press.

The Bechtel International Center, Stanford University