USC is one of 31 leading research universities to come out against President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration in an ongoing court case.
On Friday, the universities filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in support of repealing the order, which temporarily bans immigration from six majority-Muslim countries. Amicus curiae briefs can be filed by any party with an interest in the outcome of the case and provide additional information for judges to help make their decisions.
USC enrolls the second-highest number of international students of any American university and employs a significant number of faculty from foreign nations. As a result, the University has an interest in safeguarding against legal developments that limit travel to and from the U.S., the brief says.
The brief states that the filing higher education institutions, which include USC, Stanford University, Dartmouth College, Cornell University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and others, benefit greatly from the contributions of the international students and faculty that hail from the restricted countries, and that Trump’s executive order prevents these institutions from creating the most diverse and stimulating academic environment possible.
The University did not immediately respond for comment when asked about the amicus filing.
Trump signed the executive order, which limits travel and immigration from Syria, Iran, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and Libya, on March 6, after a federal judge struck down the first order that Trump signed days after his inauguration. Judges in Hawaii, Maryland and Virginia issued injunctions that stopped the most recent executive order from also taking effect.
The brief argues that “the international members of [the universities’] communities contribute to the vibrant campus life, world-class educational offerings and research discoveries for which [the universities] are well known.” It goes on to say that the contributions these students make to campus cultures and intellectual environments are indispensable.
Furthermore, the brief states that the executive order “divides current students and their families, impairs the ability of American universities to draw the finest international talent and inhibits the free exchange of ideas.”