UMD president says 350 on campus affected by Trump's travel ban

"We have an obligation to speak out when government actions are fundamentally antithetical to the core values

Some 350 people from graduate students to visiting scholars at the University of Maryland, College Park, are affected by the Trump administration's federal travel ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, university president Wallace Loh said Tuesday.

Loh weighed in on the controversy with a statement saying President Donald Trump's 90-day ban "poses human, moral, and constitutional dilemmas."

"As a public institution, the University of Maryland does not normally take stands on political issues. However, we have an obligation to speak out when government actions are fundamentally antithetical to the core values and missions of the institution," Loh said.

One graduate student was blocked while trying to return to the U.S., and possibly three others have also been blocked, Loh said.

Also, a visiting professor told the university he would not be coming to campus as a personal protest. The professor was not subject to the ban.

Loh reaffirmed the university will not release information on the immigration status of students unless forced by court order.

Loh was born in China and moved with his family to Peru. After completing high school in Peru, he immigrated to the U.S. and became a naturalized citizen.

Trump and White House aides have defended the ban as a necessary step for national security despite growing criticism and widespread protests at airports around the country and abroad.

The presidents of Loyola University Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, and the chancellor of the University System of Maryland have all expressed concern over the ban and support for immigrant and international students.

"We are steadfastly committed to assisting them, as we are committed to all those who are marginalized," the Rev. Brian Linnane, Loyola's president, said in a statement.

Chancellor Robert Caret said in a statement, "The tradition of welcoming talented individuals from all countries to our academic communities helps our country maintain its global leadership in higher education and enriches all of us."

tprudente@baltsun.com

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