Statement from Chancellor Blank on executive order on immigration

January 30, 2017

Throughout its history, the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been fortunate to draw together students, faculty and staff from many different countries, religions and backgrounds. This diversity is a source of strength and innovation and it enhances our research, teaching and outreach. It also drives the Wisconsin Idea through the ideals of sharing knowledge and building global partnerships.

We add our voice to those of the Association of American Universities (AAU), the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities (APLU) and many of our peer institutions calling for a reconsideration of the administration’s new order barring the entry or return of individuals from certain countries.

These actions affect real people – researchers, scholars, students, and staff – who are essential to our goals of providing a world-class education. We understand and share the commitment to protect our country and keep Americans safe. At the same time, the administration must ensure its policy does not keep out those who have good reasons to travel, including the international students, faculty and staff who are part of the fabric of our institutions of higher education and contribute to them every day.

We call on our leaders to search for a balanced approach that does not weaken our higher education system, the competitiveness of our economy and core principles of our democracy.

We are monitoring this situation closely and are communicating directly with and providing information and support to our international students, faculty and staff who are potentially affected by this order.

In addition, we want to reiterate the information we shared at the end of the fall semester on our policies and practices:

  • UW-Madison will not provide information on immigration status of its students, faculty or staff unless required to do so under force of law.
  • The UW–Madison Police Department (UWPD) will not participate in immigration enforcement actions conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers (ICE). Our resources are limited and such enforcement is not part of UWPD’s duties.
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers must use appropriate legal processes if they are on campus and wish to contact individual students about enforcement-related issues. For example, they generally cannot enter an on-campus private residence without a proper warrant.

Members of the campus community seeking more information on these issues are encouraged to contact International Student Services (ISS) or International Faculty and Staff Services (IFSS).