PRINCETON -- Joining with 16 other national schools, Princeton University on Monday filed a legal brief in opposition of President Donald Trump's executive order banning travel into the United States from seven mostly Muslim countries.
In the filing, an amicus curiae brief, the universities say their global missions greatly "benefit from the contributions of diverse students, faculty, and scholars from around the world."
The legal paper, often called a "friend of the court" brief, was filed in federal court in New York City as part of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's civil action against President Trump's order.
The universities say in the brief that students and faculty affected by the order not only benefit their campus communities, but the United States and the world as a whole.
The executive order is currently suspended after one federal court put a halt to it and last week the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted against reinstating the president's order.
The Jan. 27 executive order had barred citizens from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the U.S. for 90 days and refugees for 120 days, and indefinitely blocked all refugees from Syria.
Critics of the order say the order is ban targets Muslims and is not American. President Trump argues the order is not a Muslim ban and is important for national security and fighting terrorism.
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In the universities' brief, they say the institutions collectively, "take extremely seriously the safety and security of their campuses and of the nation."
If their campuses were not safe, or the towns and cities in which they are located were not secure, they could not maintain "their world-renowned learning environments."
The universities, "believe that safety and security concerns can be addressed in a manner that is consistent with the values America has always stood for, including the free flow of ideas and people across borders and the welcoming of immigrants to our universities," the brief says.
Earlier this month, the presidents of Princeton and Rutgers universities' were among over 40 college leaders who wrote President Trump a letter arguing the order threatened American higher education and the nation's principles.
The other universities who joined the Monday brief are: Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Chicago, Columbia University, Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Duke University, Emory University, Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern University, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford University, Vanderbilt University and Yale University.
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