Feb. 13, 2017

Cornell joins amicus brief in challenge to U.S. entry ban

Cornell University has joined 16 other colleges and universities on an amici curiae (friends-of-the-court) brief filed in support of an immigration case brought in United States District Court challenging the Trump administration’s Jan. 27 executive order banning entry into the U.S. by nationals from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The joint brief was filed Feb. 13 in support of the relief sought by plaintiffs in Darweesh v. Trump, the class action case being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The case was brought Jan. 28 against President Donald Trump, et al., by the People of the State of New York and State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman as intervenor-plaintiff, on behalf of multiple petitioners.

The amici on the brief are Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, Princeton University, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and Yale University.

“Each amicus has a global mission, and each derives immeasurable benefit from the contributions of diverse students, faculty and scholars from around the world,” the brief states. “They rely on the ability to welcome international students, faculty and scholars into their communities. … The Executive Order at issue in this case threatens that ability, and creates significant hardship for amici’s valued international students, faculty and scholars.”

The brief also notes “the importance of international students, faculty and scholars to amici and their educational missions,” and that the institutions share an “interest in ensuring that individuals from around the globe can continue to enter the United States … [to join] academic communities [and] share their unique skills and perspectives.”

All of the signatory institutions provided statements included in the brief. Cornell’s states that the university “aims, through public service, to enhance the lives and livelihoods of [its] students, the people of New York, and others around the world,” and promotes “a culture that encourages global engagement – to expand multicultural knowledge and international understanding across the entire Cornell community: in Ithaca, New York City and the world.”

Cornell University Counsel James J. Mingle said: “This friend of the court brief, filed on behalf of 17 research universities including Cornell, acknowledges the strong national interest in careful vetting, but stresses that the executive order as currently written is legally unwarranted and has a detrimental impact on many international students and faculty at Cornell and other campuses across our great country.”

The full text of the brief is available on the Global Cornell website.