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Northwestern, UChicago Join Legal Fight Against Trump's Immigration Ban

By Stephen Gossett in News on Feb 14, 2017 4:30PM

University of Chicago / Facebook

Northwestern University and the University of Chicago are among a group of 17 top universities that have joined a legal battle against Donald Trump’s executive order that bars immigrants of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States.

Along with schools such as Harvard, Stanford and Yale, the Chicago-area universities filed an amicus brief on Monday in a New York federal court, partnering with civil-liberties and immigration attorneys who issued the lawsuit. The order endangers the schools’ missions to freely educate and has resulted in “damaging effects” at American higher-learning institutions, the universities challenge.

"These costs are significant and directly affect amici's ability to pursue their missions," the amicus brief reads. "And they are being experienced absent any evidence that amici's lawfully-present students, faculty, and scholars—all of whom have already undergone significant vetting by the government—pose any threat to the safety or security of the United States or amici's campuses."

Phil Harris, Vice President and General Counsel at Northwestern University, said a diverse student body is critical to the school's research work. “International students and scholars are critically important to our mission as a global institution," Harris said in a statement.

Trump's order was temporarily suspended after a federal judge in Seattle ruled against the ban—a ruling that was subsequently upheld by the Ninth Circuit Court.