2/1 Update on Executive Order on Immigration

The Graduate Center - Office of the Provost

February 1, 2017

Dear Colleagues,

Many members of the GC community have expressed concern for our doctoral student Saira Rafiee (Political Science), who as you know has been refused re-entry to the United States. Sharing in that concern, and grateful for your support for her, I write with an update. 

The Graduate Center community has marshaled its resources both to support Ms. Rafiee and address the larger implications of the executive order. Across multiple channels, this advocacy is far-reaching:

  • Academic: To minimize disruption of Ms. Rafiee’s studies, her professors are consulting with her in the design of temporary substitutes for her on-campus classes. We are committed to maintaining her student status and her well-being in terms of financial aid, pay, and benefits.
  • Legal/Judicial: Our legal counsel has been in close contact with CUNY Citizenship Now! regarding all available options and resources, including an offer of legal representation, and we have shared these with Ms. Rafiee. The ACLU has been engaged through the efforts of Citizenship Now! and, through faculty partnerships, we have established communication with the Civil Rights Board in the New York State Attorney General’s Office.
  • Political: We are pursuing action in multiple areas, including letters and calls to all relevant elected officials; engagement with the State Department, in coordination with the Central Office; and participation in the Brooklyn Borough President’s press conference this week, which yielded substantial media coverage. An op-ed by President Robinson has also been published in The Hill, the most widely read political website in Washington.

Beyond these and other communications-related initiatives, efforts are well underway to assist Ms. Rafiee with more practical matters, such as maintenance of her residence and other needs. I would like to give hearty thanks to the many members of our community—faculty, students, and staff—for your help and advocacy on her behalf. These collective actions lend great weight to our efforts. 

We will continue to keep you updated.
Provost Joy Connolly

Submitted on: FEB 1, 2017

Category: General GC News | Provost's Office