Home » A Message from Sister Janet Eisner, SND Regarding the Jan. 27 Executive Order

A Message from Sister Janet Eisner, SND Regarding the Jan. 27 Executive Order

Dear Members of the Emmanuel College Community,

Last Friday, January 27th, the Trump Administration issued an Executive Order imposing a ban on travel into the United States by refugees for 120 days; by nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days; and by Syrian refugees indefinitely. The precise impact of the Executive Order remains unclear, with the White House continuing to provide clarifications regarding who is and who is not affected by this action. In addition, there are ongoing court cases challenging the Executive Order’s constitutionality.

We are all concerned about these developments. I want to assure all students, faculty and staff that the College will do all it can within the law to protect the well-being of all community members during this uncertain time and to protect privacy rights in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Based on our current understanding of the Executive Order, and following a review of College records, it appears that we have two members of our community who may be directly and immediately subject to these travel restrictions. Additionally, we know that Emmanuel students are studying in none of the seven countries identified in the Executive Order.

We recognize that some of you may have family members and friends whose lives have been interrupted by this new measure taken by the Trump Administration. I want you to know that you have the full support of the Emmanuel community, and that the College is ready to provide guidance and resources.

As you may recall, on December 8, 2016, I issued a message to the College community noting that I had signed a statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy (see below). Today I wish to express the College’s commitment to all who seek refuge from political or religious persecution or from economic hardship in their home countries.

In a broader sense, these times call on us to affirm the values at the heart of Emmanuel’s Catholic educational mission, including a compassionate embrace of humanity that is authentically “catholic”—that is, universal—in scope. These values are consistent with Catholic social teaching on immigration and with a recent statement by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As we navigate the days and months ahead, may we be inspired by Pope Francis’ declaration that “migrants and refugees are not pawns on the chessboard of humanity. They are children, women and men who leave or are forced to leave their homes for various reasons, who share a legitimate desire for knowing and having, but above all for being more.” 

Sister Janet Eisner, SND
President

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President Sister Janet Eisner, SND, sent the following message to the College community on December 8, 2016:

Dear Members of the Emmanuel College Community, 

As we approach the close of the fall semester, we are experiencing an important moment in the life of our nation. We recognize well that for some members of our community this is also a time of uncertainty about the future.

Consistent with Emmanuel’s policies, and with our commitment to social justice, I have joined presidents of other Catholic colleges and universities in signing a statement in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, issued in 2012. The statement is attached.

This statement reflects Emmanuel’s values:

  • We are guided by the values of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, the College’s mission, the Catholic intellectual tradition, and the social teachings of the Catholic Church.
  • We are responsive to the needs of students from diverse backgrounds.
  • We encourage informed debate and dialogue on the critical issues of our time, exchanging perspectives freely in a climate of reason, respect and civility.

We will continue to uphold our commitment to engaging as a College community in listening sessions and dialogue on diversity and inclusion, as well as on national and global events. We will continue to uphold the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the privacy rights of all our students.

As we conclude the Year of Mercy, we recall Pope Francis’ appeal to “promote a culture of mercy…in which no one looks at another with indifference or turns away from the suffering of our brothers and sisters.”

During this Advent season, may you experience the blessings of Emmanuel, our God with us.

Sister Janet Eisner, SND
President