In a statement Monday, Chancellor Rebecca Blank said the university is monitoring the situation closely and communicating directly with international students, faculty and staff who are potentially affected by the order.
Blank said the university’s diversity has historically been a source of “strength and innovation,” and said UW-Madison is calling for a reconsideration of Trump’s order barring the entry or return of people from certain countries.
“These actions affect real people – researchers, scholars, students, and staff – who are essential to our goals of providing a world-class education,” Blank said in the statement. “We call on our leaders to search for a balanced approach that does not weaken our higher education system, the competitiveness of our economy and core principles of our democracy.”
Blank also said that per university policy, UW-Madison won’t provide information on immigration status of its students, faculty or staff unless forced to do so by law. She also said the UW-Madison Police Department won’t participate in immigration enforcement actions.
In an email to the UW-Madison students from countries named in Trump’s order, Assistant Dean of Students Joshua Moon Johnson called it “a challenging and confusing time” and recommended that students from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya and Yemen not travel out of the United States.
“You are an important part of our community and we want to make sure you feel welcomed during this uncertain moment,” Moon wrote in the email to international students.
The university said it is working with those who are potentially affected.
UW-Madison student, Lily Khadempour, is currently in Brazil as a part of a study program. Khadempour is a dual citizen from Canada and Iran.
“To think that you need to suddenly and completely change your life is so difficult,” she said.
Khadempour spent the weekend not knowing if she would be allowed back into the U.S. She started to plan ways to finish college from Canada if she was not allowed to travel back to Madison. Because of her dual citizenship, she has been told she will be able to get allowed back into the states.
Khadempour is set to land back in America on Wednesday.
“There are human beings behind this and we are normal people. We have lives and go to school and work in our jobs. I feel like it is really easy to think of Muslims and refugees as something other and I think its important that people see that it is not other — that we are humans,” Khadempour said.
About 130 students in the state are affected by the travel ban. UW System President Ray Cross also urged students and faculty from the seven countries not to travel outside the United States in the next 90 days as they may not be able to return to the country.
UW-Madison spokeswoman Meredith McGlone said the university is working with one student whose plans to travel back to the U.S. may be affected by the order. She said no further details are available yet.
Madison College is also assessing the impacts of the new executive order. Three students from the seven countries included in the ban are studying at the college.
“Though the impact on those students will likely be significant – there are many unanswered questions and a lot of speculation – Madison College will work to support any affected students by directing them to appropriate resources and will do what we can to ensure their education remains on course,” Madison College President Dr. Jack E. Daniels said in a statement.