Boston University President Robert Brown denounced President Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies in an op-ed piece published in The Boston Globe Monday.
The piece was in response to the Trump administration’s temporary ban on immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, part of a series of controversial executive orders signed into effect by the president earlier this week, according to Brown’s article.
“The moral argument against the action is amply clear … it plays to base fears and bias against foreigners and sets us on a path to see every immigrant as a threat,” Brown wrote.
Brown wrote that higher education institutions like BU are fundamentally at odds with the implications of the order.
“In universities, we see things very differently,” Brown wrote. “We believe that open immigration is good for the long-term health of higher education, our country, our economy, and our society.”
BU spokesperson Colin Riley said Brown’s statement represents the university’s position as a whole regarding this issue, and highlighted the importance and benefits of having international students on campus.
“Boston University has a long history of having international students from around the world … and those students who have come to Boston University have benefited both the students here at BU, who have been alongside them in class, and bring their experience as a student studying in the United States back to their country,” Riley said. “It’s a very positive exchange.”
Throughout the nation, Riley said, international students bring positive contributions along with them.
“I think President Brown makes a very strong case about the successes, achievements and contributions of international students who stay on after graduation [to work in our universities and in industry],” Riley said. “What they contribute to the economy, to industry and to technology improves our lives and our health.”
Despite these contributions, Riley said the order may be a deterrent for international students who are planning to study in the United States.
“It brings uncertainty, and it may have the effect of people deciding not to come to the United States for higher education,” Riley said.