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Memorandum January 31, 2017

AU Community
Neil Kerwin, President
Continued Support for Members of AU's International Community

Recent actions by the new administration have contributed to an increasingly uncertain climate for international, undocumented, and immigrant members of our community. I want to underscore our longstanding commitment to international understanding and global engagement and offer continued support to members of our community affected by changes in immigration policy.

Since its founding, AU has been a place that not only welcomes students and faculty from around the world, but also studies and advances international service. We value diverse international experiences and perspectives that enrich our community. To underscore these values, over the past several months, I have joined other university and college presidents to restate our commitment to core values and express support for public policies, including endorsing responsible global engagement and the DACA program for undocumented immigrant students. Moreover, in December, I offered five specific commitments to support undocumented students at AU.

In light of the new White House Executive Order temporarily restricting entry of those from seven countries, Provost Bass has provided more information on those directly affected, and indicated specific next steps to offer resources and support. Our Office of International Student and Scholar Services is providing direct assistance including referral to legal counsel.

In addition, as the new administration seeks to modify or shift immigration policy, we will advocate for the value of international study and exchange and we want to reassure international applicants and their families that American University will continue to recruit, retain, and support students and scholars from around the world. I remind you that this commitment has remained steadfast over decades, enduring many changes in presidential administrations and leadership in Congress.

As we move forward, members of our community will lend their voices, expertise, and support to influence and shape the policy debate. We will write to the community as circumstances warrant and will continue to foster a welcoming and inclusive environment for all to contribute, mindful of our historical commitment to global engagement, social justice, and human rights.