Provost on President Trump’s executive order on immigration

On Monday, Jan. 30, Provost and Executive Vice President Kenneth G. Furton delivered this message to the FIU community:

The contributions of our diverse students, faculty, and staff have made FIU what it is today. We celebrate and value their involvement in every aspect of FIU life – the didactic, scholastic, and social environment. We are a better university because we are all part of a learned community that shares the values of our democracy. At FIU, we are committed to helping all of our University community members to be successful, and we value diversity in every form. As a community, we must come together to support those among us who may be feeling particularly vulnerable during this uncertain time.

President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order on Friday, Jan. 27, that may impact members and prospective members of the University community. The Executive Order places a 90-day moratorium on the issuance of United States visas to nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen and on the entry into the United States of individuals born in these countries who are not United States citizens. The Executive Order does not appear to affect naturalized United States citizens from these countries. The Executive Order was initially interpreted as a ban on entries by both permanent residents (immigrants) of the United States, as well as persons with visas (nonimmigrants) for entry into the United States. However, late on January 29, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security announced a limited exception to this ban for permanent residents.

The Executive Order also suspends the Visa Interview Waiver Program (VIWP), requiring all nonimmigrant visa applicants to attend an interview, unless an interview is not required by statute. The VIWP allowed consular officers to waive the interview requirement for applicants seeking to renew nonimmigrant visas within 12 months of expiration of the initial visa in the same classification. Suspending the VIWP is expected to result in extended interview wait times and processing times.

We are continuing to analyze the terms and impact of the Executive Order. Based on our preliminary review, it appears that those who may be impacted by the Executive Order include current staff and students; prospective students who have been admitted by FIU; persons with employment offers; and collaborating researchers, who are not present in the United States yet. The Executive Order also may impact the travels of nationals of these countries who are currently in the United States. As you may have seen over the weekend, travelers from some of the named countries who are United States residents or who had visas had trouble entering the United States.

Members of our University community, who are from these countries, may want to postpone travel abroad until there is clarity as to how nationals from these countries will be admitted or re-admitted to the United States.

Any members of the University community who are concerned about their particular situations may contact the Carlos Alberto Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at 305.348.3389 or 305-348-7541 or via e-mail ( or consult a private attorney.

Please know that there are other University resources available to assist you. F and J visas holders may contact the University’s International Student and Scholar Services at 305-348-2421 (MMC) and 305-919-5813 (BBC) or via e-mail ( or  In addition, FIU’s Counseling and Psychological Services is available for University students at 305-348-2277 (MMC) and 305-919-5305 (BBC), and FIU’s Office of Employee Assistance is available to University faculty and staff at 305-348-2469 (MMC) and 305-919-4439 (BBC).

We will continue monitoring this issue and will update you as necessary.