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Immigration Policy and Resources for Graduate Students

February 1, 2017

Dear Graduate Students:

In the wake of the recent executive order concerning immigration, I write to update the graduate community on Brown University’s responses and to assure you of the work being done on multiple fronts to influence and monitor policy and support affected community members. The Graduate School, with its large international student population, is collaborating in this work. We also are reaching out to international applicants to make clear that we will continue to admit the best and brightest seeking advanced education, without regard to national origin or citizenship. Brown University has made a public statement of commitment to upholding its core values, as described in the open Brown community letter from President Christina Paxson and Provost Richard M. Locke.  

Brown Graduate School has graduate students and applicants from nations named in the executive order. As Provost Locke stated in his January 28 community letter, the executive order heavily restricts entry into the United States by refugees and some visa holders from Iraq, Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

The Office of International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) has reached out to affected graduate students and remains a resource to them. If you or another member of Brown's international community needs assistance pertaining to visas and immigration status, please contact OISSS at 401-863-2427.

For all non-visa related issues, please contact the Office of Global Engagement (OGE), which provides support to international students, faculty, staff and visitors. OGE can be reached at 401-863-1300 or gbcs@brown.edu.

There are numerous resources on campus available to support all students. If you would like to address specific concerns, please contact Maria Suarez, Associate Dean of Student Support at the Graduate School, the Office of Student Support Services at OSL@brown.edu, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at 401-863-3476 or the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life at 401-863-2344. For evening or weekend emergencies, please call Public Safety at 401-863-3322 and ask to speak to the Administrator on Call.

Travel Assistance

The University continues to strongly advise against international travel for students and scholars from targeted countries. 

Graduate students who are planning international travel are urged to sign up for Brown University Global Assistance Program, which is managed and administered by International SOS. This service provides Brown University international travelers with medical, security and travel assistance.

Community Events and Support
All students are welcome to join the community events hosted by OGE: 

  • Thursday, February 2, from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm in the Kasper Multipurpose Room (lower level of the Campus Center), there will be an event centering the international community at Brown. Staff from OISSS and key offices across campus will be there in solidarity with the international community. 
  • Tuesday, February 7, at 6:30 pm: A panel discussion will feature an immigration lawyer, OISSS, CAPS, and the Office of the Chaplains and Religious Life. Details to come.

The University is exploring mechanisms for providing resources for students to obtain individual legal counsel.

Know, too, that we are not alone in our concern about the disruption to lives and scholarship caused by this executive order. The Association of American Universities, of which Brown is a member, has argued forcefully for a quick end to this damaging ban, and multiple U.S. states have filed suit to challenge it. Meanwhile, Rhode Island legislators are working to assist affected Brown students. 

I am deeply concerned about the impact of this ban on our current and prospective students and, ultimately, for our ability to address the grand challenges of our time. Now more than ever, we need multidisciplinary collaboration within a globally diverse and inclusive intellectual community.    

Sincere regards,

Andrew G. Campbell

Dean of the Graduate School
Professor of Medical Science
Molecular Microbiology & Immunology
Brown University