Yale and other schools file brief on travel ban

Read the amicus brief (PDF).

Yale has joined 30 other universities and colleges in filing an amicus (friend-of-the-court) brief in a case before the United States Supreme Court that addresses the legality of an order issued by the Trump administration.

The brief was filed by the schools in support of a challenge by the State of Hawaii to the Trump administration’s travel ban.  In their brief, the schools describe how the third in a series of presidential orders banning entry into the United States of nationals of Muslim-majority countries impairs the schools’ ability to attract talented individuals from around the world and meet their goals of educating tomorrow’s leaders.

Amici (the schools submitting the brief) have long recognized the importance of attracting international students, faculty, staff, and scholars,” the schools stated in the brief. “International scholars and faculty share important insights about the conditions, traditions, and cultural values and practices of their home nations. Their work leads to critical advancements across all disciplines, from science and technology to arts and letters, often through cross-border collaborations that enhance teaching and research. International students study here and return home as leaders in business, medicine, politics, and other fields. The benefits of international diversity in American higher education thus inure not only to colleges and universities themselves, but to the country and indeed the world.”

The schools wrote that, since the first travel ban was issued by the Trump administration in January 2017, higher education in the United States has already experienced damaging effects.

Many admissions letters for fall 2017 were sent in spring 2017, just after the first travel ban was issued,” the schools noted. “Prospective international students had a short window to decide whether to attend a U.S. college or university. Faced with the prospect that they might not be able to obtain visas, many reasonably chose to enroll at universities in other countries instead of studying here.”

The schools’ brief cited a survey in which 46% of U.S. graduate school deans reported substantial declines in admission yields for all international students for fall 2017 enrollment, and 52% reported seeing these declines in admission yields of prospective graduate students from the Middle East and North Africa.

A federal district court and the Ninth Circuit court of appeals agreed with Hawaii and barred implementation of provisions of the order. The Supreme Court announced in January that it would review the Ninth Circuit decision, which held that the president likely exceeded his authority under the nation’s immigration laws.