Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

President Patton’s Statement to Middlebury Community Regarding Refugee Travel Ban

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Segal Building Detail

January 29, 2017

Middlebury President Laurie L. Patton sent the following message by email to faculty, staff, and students in Middlebury and Monterey on Saturday, January 28, 2017. ISSS refers to the International Student & Scholar Services office serving all Middlebury students, faculty and staff.

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students,

I know that many of you are following news reports on the impact of the executive order that President Trump signed on Friday restricting entry into the United States by individuals from seven countries. This is a deeply distressing development. Staff at Middlebury are working hard to determine the impact of this order and to understand how we can support members of our community who need to travel to and from Middlebury from any of these countries. Our colleagues at ISSS are working in partnership with the senior administration to monitor the situation carefully. We also are in touch with Senator Leahy’s office to seek their guidance, and are working one-on-one with colleagues and students who are abroad and may be affected by this order.

There remains significant uncertainty, and the situation is fluid. I know that the lack of certainty may make it difficult for individuals to make decisions about travel. At this time, I can only advise acting with caution. International students or scholars traveling abroad should be in touch with ISSS staff, who stand ready to provide guidance and up-to-date information on the situation. You will find their contact information at the bottom on this email. Our dynamic and diverse international colleagues are central to Middlebury’s mission and our community.

At this moment in time, I want to encourage all of you, and all of our students, to keep working to ensure that all travel outside the contiguous U.S. is registered (http://www.middlebury.edu/international/travel) so that we know where our community members are, and how to be in contact with them, when emergent situations arise.

We will share information with you as it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to be in touch with any of us in the administration or with ISSS if you have questions or concerns.


Laurie L. Patton


I write to thank President Patton for her statement regarding the refugee travel ban. I wish, however, that her condemnation of President Trump's executive order were explicit.

-Ahmed M., a recent graduate of MIIS.

I agree completely with Ahmed M's statement that President Patton's message would be improved by condemnation of Mr. Trump's executive order; in fact, I think it behooves MIIS as an institution with the express purpose of fostering a more responsible international community of policymakers and business-people to strongly denounce this executive order. In addition to being discriminatory, it is also poorly-constructed policy. If MIIS cannot lead here, where can it?

Dear President and all,
I wonder if similar turmoil was caused and concern expressed when former POTUS Obama enacted a short-term travel ban and when Sen. Schumer suggested such a ban or something along those lines in the past. I'm guessing the answer is no.

Arthur Vanick, former MIFS student

Please raise your voice against this act which was done with hatred and bigotry in mind. That is not who we are as Americans

It's about time the US Government is taking seriously our lack of vetting of refugees and others entering our borders. The post-9/11 world is different. It's unfortunate, but it has to be. This is not a ban, but a temporary stay for people coming from countries that are known to the USG as state sponsors of terrorism until a better vetting system is in place to protect our citizens. The President's job is to protect American citizens. Non citizens apparently dislike the order, but the job of our government is first and foremost, to take care of our legal citizens. This is a first step to do that.

I am sorry but this comment is full of false statements and need to be addressed. First the US has one of the heaviest procedure when it comes to checking refugees. Verification of all refugees are by far more extensive than in European Union for instance. Second the countries targeted by the ban were not sponsoring terrorism. If countries suspected of such sponsor were indeed targeted then countries such as Qatar and UAE would have been concerned by the ban or if it had only concerned the list of states included on the USG list then there would only be three countries concerned by the ban (Iran, Sudan and Syria). It is not useless to remind people that terrorist attacks on u.s soils have never involved citizens of the countries concerned by the ban. Don't believe propaganda and verify information before posting. This is how you truly protect citizens.

In fact, President Obama never enacted a travel ban. The US Congress implemented a hold on the visa waiver program for three countries, so that nationals from those countries would have to apply for visas in order to enter the US. No one was detained at airports, no one was denied entry based on his religion. I am a US citizen and I do not like the ban. We are no safer simply because our government has enacted it. As a graduate of both Middlebury and the former Monterey Institute, I applaud President Patton for speaking out publicly against it.

I agree with Arthur and Liz. It's time for me to unsubscribe from MIIS' mailing list.

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