We, the UWM History Department, state our unequivocal condemnation of the immigration, refugee and travel ban enacted by President Trump on January 27, 2017, and affirm our support for our students and colleagues affected by it. We recognize the ban as part of a broader agenda that threatens the university and the very spirit of the Wisconsin Idea.
Many colleagues, graduate and undergraduate students at our university are citizens of the seven countries affected by this executive order. In Fall 2016,104 graduate students from these nations attended UWM. Many other students are citizens of other Muslim-majority countries of the Middle East. All these people are full members of the university community; the university belongs to all of us. The travel restriction interferes with their studies, their work as intellectuals, and their freedom of movement as people.
We affirm that public universities are places of free inquiry and collective endeavor for all people, regardless of race, religion, sexual identity, or national origin. At UWM, our diversity is our strength in research, teaching, and community service.
We likewise affirm our support for the many students, faculty, and staff throughout the UW System and across the country, facing discriminatory and exclusionary migration policies. We call on our university leadership to speak out whenever and wherever possible on these pressing issues.