Date: Thursday, March 16, 2017
From: NYU President Andrew Hamilton

Dear NYU Community,

I want to update you on our efforts to counter the revised White House Executive Order that, among other actions, bans travel from six majority-Muslim countries.

Like many of you, I have been traveling this past week. I visited our campus in Abu Dhabi and our site in London, and am continuing on to two other sites, meeting with people involved in our global efforts. Those visits serve as a powerful reminder to me of how inextricably tied our global character is to our educational and research mission.  And as I meet students and scholars from all over the world studying at Washington Square and other sites, it reinforces for me how vital the free movement of people is to our academic goals.

And so, at my direction, NYU submitted amicus curiae briefs (PDF) on Tuesday in support of two lawsuits challenging the most recent version of the Executive Order, including the case in Hawaii in which Judge Derrick Watson issued a nationwide temporary restraining order yesterday evening that, for now, thankfully halts enactment of the revised Executive Order.

Every nation has the right to take measures to secure itself and safeguard its citizens. However, an order that heedlessly discriminates against people based on their religion is unworthy of us. It saddens and frustrates me to think of students and scholars who so wish to be at NYU, who worked so hard to be admitted or appointed, who might contribute so much to our community, thwarted from doing so because of an ill-advised policy. As a person whose studies and career encompassed three nations in addition to my land of birth, I know how different and less fortunate my life might have been had those nations – including the United States – chosen to be ungenerous.

With this amicus brief, we at NYU once again add our voices to those calling for the Executive Order to be overturned by the courts.  In so doing we reaffirm our values; declare our support for our friends, colleagues, and peers from the six countries cited; and remind those who wish to come to NYU from all over the world that they are welcome and valued here.

I would like to thank the attorneys from Proskauer Rose LLP – who assisted us on a pro bono basis – and from our own Office of General Counsel for their fine work on NYU’s amicus brief.

Andrew Hamilton
President, NYU