Maryland universities react to President Trump's travel ban

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jan 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-30 18:11:43-05

Maryland universities and local officials issued statements opposing President Trump’s travel ban on citizens from seven Muslim countries.

Johns Hopkins University said the school is “unequivocally committed to supporting students, faculty, and staff affected by the executive order.”

President Ronald J. Daniels went on to say the school plans to work with other universities and elected officials to “make clear the value we place on allowing students, scholars, and researchers from all countries to conduct their work here with us.”

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At UMBC, school officials encouraged students and faculty from the seven banned countries to avoid international travel during this time. School president Freeman Hrabowski said UMBC is working to support anyone in the school community threatened by the executive order, which could have “a chilling effect on higher education and research broadly.”

Morgan State University also discouraged international travel in an email sent to staff and students Saturday. President David Wilson said several Morgan students are from the banned countries. "While we will continue to monitor the impact of this executive order, we believe it may be prudent to delay any plans you have to travel internationally until we are able to get more clarity on President Trump’s order," Wilson said.

Towson University president Kim Schatzel said that while the university will comply with all federal laws, the school will support all students, and is working to find out if anyone was affected by the travel ban.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz expressed outrage over the ban by sharing his grandfather’s immigration story from Russia to Ellis Island, calling the ban “an affront to the very values that make us proud to be Americans.”

RELATED: Hundreds protest President Trump's immigration orders

“I would not be here today had the United States of America not lifted her lamp beside that golden door for my family,” Kamenetz said. “This past weekend, Lady Liberty wept.”

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh also released a statement criticizing Trump's order. 

"The Executive Order banning refugees from entering the United States does not reflect the principles and core values of the America that I know.  I want to reassure our residents, especially our immigrant community, that Baltimore is and will remain a welcoming city where all people are treated with dignity and respect," Pugh said in a statement. 

U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger also issued a statement, saying in part that he was "proud to join a rally at BWI Airport against President Trump's recent executive action on immigration and refugees."

"I have told President Trump that I stand ready to work with him wherever possible and I have been selective in my criticisms throughout his first days in office. But this Executive Order, which temporarily bans immigrants from seven Muslim nations and suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program  indefinitely for Syrians goes too far," Ruppersberger said.

President Trump defended his executive order Sunday, saying the decision wasn’t a ban on Muslims, but instead a move to keep the country safe.

RELATED: Trump defends executive order concerning extreme vetting

The order led to protests at major airports nationwide.

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