UCLA creates 'Immigration Advisory Council' in response to EO

University of California, Los Angeles Chancellor Gene Block announced Wednesday that a new council will advise him on the potential impact of Trump’s policies and how to mitigate them in the UCLA community.

“I wrote in January that the Trump administration’s initial immigration executive order clashed with universities’ core values, which are to encourage the free exchange of scholarship, knowledge and ideas—and the same is true of Monday’s executive order,” begins the email from Chancellor Block. “To that end, I am forming the Chancellor’s Immigration Advisory Council to analyze the impact of new policies on UCLA, recommend strategies for mitigating any negative consequences, and advise me on the relevant needs and concerns of the UCLA community.”

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The council was formed in response to the revised executive order on immigration issued last week by President Trump, which places a 90-day moratorium on issuing new visas to citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, and also places a 120-day freeze on the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program in order to assess what measures should be taken to assure that refugee applicants do not pose a threat to national security.

“I do not expect us all to agree on the wisdom of these policies,” Block concedes in his message to the university community. “Regardless, we need to understand their impact on UCLA and the significant anxiety they are causing to many in our community.”

The council will be under the leadership of law professor Asli Bâli and Chicana/o Studies professor Abel Valenzuela, who Block says will together “ensure that UCLA remains focused on and responsive to the needs of our faculty, students, and staff during this challenging time.”

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In addition to this new council, Block highlights additional efforts the UCLA administration has taken to help students cope with the presidential executive orders, including an online program called “CrossCheck Live” created by Jerry Kang, the vice chancellor of UCLA’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.

Launched last year, CrossCheck Live aims “to change the way we think and talk about equity, diversity, and inclusion,” and since the election has hosted events titled “Processing the Election” and “Processing the Executive Orders.”

“In the weeks and months ahead, the work of the council and the services these offices provide will be a priority for me and our entire campus,” Block concludes his message. “Although these are uncertain times for many, I urge you to remember that, as a community, we thrive best when we support one another, remain committed to our shared well-being, and bring our best thinking to our biggest challenges.”

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