September 5, 2017

In a Sept. 5 letter to the Amherst community, President Martin characterized as “reprehensible” the Trump Administration decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. “We will continue our commitment to recruiting, admitting and educating the most talented students regardless of where they were born or what resources their families might enjoy,” she wrote. Barring a lawfully issued subpoena or judicial order, she continued, the College will not share students’ records against their wishes.

The U.S. Department of Justice today announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program will be rescinded effective March 5, 2018. Anyone who has a DACA permit expiring between now and March 5, 2018 can apply for a two-year renewal if the application is submitted by October 5, 2017. Congress may act to reinstate the DACA program or some similar program prior to the deadline. In the meantime, The college will make the services of our immigration attorney available to any student in DACA status. Students with DACA status are encouraged to avoid any international travel at this time.

August 30, 2017

President Trump is expected to make an announcement about the DACA program within the next few days. We encourage any students with DACA status to avoid international travel until such time as the effect of the expected announcement has been ascertained.

June 26, 2017

The Supreme Court granted a request to limit the preliminary injunctions previously issued by the 4th and 9th federal Courts of Appeals. Individuals from the six designated countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen) who have a “bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States” may NOT be denied entry under the executive order; however, anyone without such a “bona fide relationship” may now be denied entry into the U.S.

The Supreme Court defined a “bona fide relationship” as a “close familial relationship” with an individual in the U.S. or a “formal, documented…” relationship with an entity in the U.S. According to the court’s decision, students from the designated countries who have been admitted to a college or university in the U.S. have such a bona fide relationship. The same “bona fide relationship” test applies to refugee admissions. This decision is a preliminary decision that may be modified once the Supreme Court hears the case in October 2017.

June 15, 2017

The Department of Homeland Security rescinded the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (“DAPA”) policy of the prior administration. The memo announcing the change can be accessed at and FAQs are available at DAPA was challenged in court shortly after it was originally announced and has never been implemented. The FAQs above specifically state that the rescission does not affect the separate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) policy, and that DACA recipients are eligible to renew their status. (Note: on September 5, 2017, the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the DACA program will be rescinded as of March 5, 2018. See President Martin's response.)

June 12, 2017

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the provisions of the executive order that 1) restrict entry into the U.S. of people from six designated countries; 2) suspend refugee admissions; and 3) impose a cap on the number of refugee admissions.

May 25, 2017

The 4th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the preliminary injunction prohibiting the enforcement of the provision of the executive order that restricts entry into the U.S. of people from six designated countries.

March 16, 2017

A federal judge in Maryland issued a nation-wide preliminary injunction temporarily halting the enforcement of the portion of the new executive order that prevents certain nationals from six countries from entering the U.S.

March 15, 2017

A federal judge in Hawaii issued a nation-wide temporary restraining order preventing President Trump’s new travel ban executive order from taking effect on March 16, 2017.  The judge’s ruling temporarily blocks the provisions of the ban that prevent certain nationals from six countries from entering the U.S. and that suspend the refugee program.  President Trump has announced his intent to appeal the decision.

March 6, 2017

The Supreme Court vacated the prior decision of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Virginia trans man Gavin Grimm. The case has sent back to the Fourth Circuit for further evaluation in light of the decision by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education to rescind previous guidance regarding the rights of transgendered individuals in U.S. primary, secondary, and post-secondary institutions of education.

March 6, 2017

President Trump issued a new executive order banning entry into the United States by foreign nationals from six specific countries. The new executive order supersedes the prior executive order issued on January 27, 2017. For more information, see this Fact Sheet and QandA from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Although the new executive order explicitly states that existing valid visas will not be affected, this issue remains complex and evolving. Therefore, we recommend that all international students, faculty, and staff consult with an immigration law expert before traveling internationally. To arrange a consultation with the college’s outside immigration counsel, please contact General Counsel Lisa Rutherford at

Feb. 21, 2017

Today, John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security, issued two memos implementing executive orders previously issued by President Trump related to immigration enforcement. (NOTE: these memos do not pertain to the separate so-called “travel ban” executive order).

For more information, please see the memos at:

See the Q&A documents released by the Department of Homeland Security as well:

Significantly, the Q&As make clear that: 1) the memos do not affect recipients of DACA; and 2) colleges continue to qualify as “sensitive locations,” which limits the immigration enforcement activities that can occur on campuses. We will continue to work with immigration law experts to evaluate the practical effects of these new memos.

Feb. 9, 2017

In a unanimous decision, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the U.S. Justice Department's request to reinstate the travel ban while litigation continues in the lower court. That decision is available to read here. Continued legal action is expected, including a likely appeal to the Supreme Court."

Feb. 5, 2017

A federal appeals court rejected an emergency request filed by the U.S. Justice Department to immediately reinstate the travel ban. The ruling means citizens from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen as well as refugees, from any country, with approved applications may continue to enter the U. S. More legal action challenging the ban is expected to be filed within the week. 

Feb. 3, 2017

A federal judge issued a nationwide order temporarily lifting the travel ban.  The judge's opinion is available to read here.  In response, the White House issued a statement declaring its intent to appeal the decision.

Jan. 29, 2017

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly issued a statement on compliance with court orders allowing for the entry of lawful permanent residents (green card holders) from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen into the United States on a case by case basis. At this time, we continue to advise Amherst students, faculty and staff from the affected countries, including those who are dual citizens or have green cards, not to travel outside of the U.S.

Jan. 28, 2017

A federal judge issued an injunction blocking implementation of the Executive Order, stating that lawful refugees, visa holders, permanent residents (green card holders) and dual citizens from the named countries could not be removed from the U.S.  This order may not affect individuals in these categories who have not yet traveled to the U.S., however.  It is unclear how the ongoing adjudication of challenges to the Executive Order will affect these and other groups.

Jan. 27, 2017

President Trump signed an Executive Order suspending entry into the United States for refugees for 120 days; nationals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days; and Syrian refugees indefinitely.  At present, we advise Amherst students, faculty and staff from the affected countries, including those who are dual citizens or have green cards, not to travel outside of the U.S.  Multiple courts have issued emergency stays temporarily halting the removal of individuals detained after the order.