Dear PSU students, faculty and staff,
Recent action by the White House on immigration impacts Portland State University directly and troubles me deeply. I am writing to assure you that we are doing everything we can to support our students, wherever they come from. I hope you join me in offering your support as well.
The president’s executive order barring entry to people from seven predominantly Muslim countries flies in the face of American principles and PSU’s values of equity and inclusion. Our large international student population, currently about 1,900, is a source of pride for PSU. Of those, about 70 are from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria — nations that are subject to the ban.
We depend on these students for cultural and academic contributions that are crucial to our mission and enrich campus life for everyone at PSU. Our Office of International Affairs is working with these students to help them navigate the executive order.
Furthermore, we are doing all we can to support our more than 80 undocumented students who are protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — the “dreamers.” Despite threats to abolish this program, some members of Congress are working to extend it through legislation known as the BRIDGE Act.
If, like me, you support extending DACA protections, I would urge you to use this link and send a letter to your U.S. Senators and representative in the U.S. House. It only takes a few minutes and could have a big impact.
We all know that the targeted immigration ban and potential DACA action has impact beyond those directly affected. Our Muslim students and students of color may face harassment and feel threatened. As I said in declaring PSU a sanctuary campus, we all have a responsibility to make all of our students feel safe and welcome, regardless of their religion, national origin or immigration status. And I want to restate in the strongest terms that PSU does not tolerate discrimination of any kind.
One of the things I like best about Portland State is the way we react when circumstances call for unity. This is one of those times that make me proud to be a Viking.
Wim Wiewel, president
Here is a list of resources available for students, faculty and staff.
Office of International Affairs
Global Diversity and Inclusion
Cultural Resource Centers
Student Legal Services
Campus Public Safety Office
Center for Student Health and Counseling