NACAC Opposes Executive Order on Foreign Nationals

Michael Rose

Arlington, VA (Jan. 30, 2017) — The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) firmly opposes President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning individuals from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US or obtaining visas, including F-1 and J-1 student visas.

The order directly contradicts NACAC’s long-held belief that international students bring cultural, academic, and economic value to US education institutions, said Nancy Beane, the association’s president and associate director of college counseling at the Westminster Schools in Atlanta. 

“The president’s order already has caused anxiety worldwide and will negatively impact current and future international students in the United States, as well as Americans looking to study abroad,” Beane said.  “We urge the administration to rescind this action immediately. Closed minds and closed borders significantly weaken our position in the world.”

NACAC has a history of opposition to policies or actions that discriminate on the basis of national origin or religion, or could otherwise infringe on fundamental human rights.  

Ramifications of this executive order for high schools, colleges and universities are clear and present:

  • Students have already been snared in legal limbo, and many face the reality that their education in the US may be halted. Currently enrolled international students who are abroad for winter break may not be admitted back into the country; students may be stranded during school closures with no place to stay; and families may not be able to join their loved ones for graduation ceremonies.
  • This action will stifle educational, cultural, and related exchanges—many of which are decades in the making—with countries both included and not included in the ban. Such exchanges promote understanding and improved diplomatic relations.
  • American high schools, colleges, and universities will face immediate and long-term negative budget consequences, as even a slight enrollment reduction can threaten the fiscal health of an institution.
  • Moreover, the economic impact of international student enrollment in the US is measured in billions of dollars, much of which this action will jeopardize.

While NACAC strongly supports efforts to ensure that students, and those in the surrounding community, have a safe learning environment, the association believes that the US government, working with its partners around the world (both government and non-government), is already able to appropriately screen individuals seeking to study at a US university.

NACAC will work with organizations across the board to inform the administration about why this order is ill-advised and encourage its retraction.  

The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 16,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP).

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