McRaven releases statement on Trump’s executive order

Anusha Lalani

President Donald Trump’s executive order blocks people with unique backgrounds and expertise from entering the U.S., UT System Chancellor William McRaven said in a Monday statement.

McRaven’s statement comes one day after UT President Gregory Fenves sent an email out to University students, faculty and staff showing his support to members of the UT community who are citizens of the countries impacted by the executive order. 

“I believe that the talent, energy, and ideas flowing into the United States of America — and to UT System institutions — from countries around the world are among our greatest strengths,” McRaven said in a statement. “The men and women who show up at our shores and our doors — ready to study, work, and participate — make us stronger, smarter, more competitive, and more attuned to the rest of the globe.”

According to the UT System, there are 983 people who are traveling abroad who are a part of the University. The System is unsure if all 983 of those people have been impacted by the travel ban, said Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, executive director of UT System media relations. 

McRaven, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, is known for his role in leading a special operations raid that led to the capture and death of Osama bin Laden in 2011. McRaven is also a recognized authority for U.S. foreign policy and previously advised former presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama on defense tactics.

“I would hope that my commitment to our nation’s security cannot be questioned,” McRaven said in a statement. “I stand behind our nation’s efforts to ensure all our citizens are free from the threat that terrorism can bring to our shores.”

Trump signed an executive order this past Friday barring refugees from coming into the U.S. for 120 days and immigrants from seven primarily Muslim countries for three months. The executive order, also known as the travel ban, includes the countries Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Somalia and Yemen. The executive order received backlash Friday night as numerous protesters gathered at airports around the nation to demand freedom for detained immigrants.

New York federal judge Ann Donnelly issued an emergency stay for those affected by the ban and ruled they cannot be removed from the U.S. Federal judges in Washington state and Boston issued rulings on the same basis.

“There is imminent danger that, absent the stay of removal, there will be substantial and irreparable injury to refugees, visa-holders, and other individuals from nations subject to the January 27, 2017, Executive Order,” Donnelly said in her ruling.