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Roosevelt University stands in support of immigrant communities as Map the Impact launch for immigration reform begins

President's Office, An Inclusive Community, Social Justice in Action, Immigration
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This is one of a series of Roosevelt University news updates relating to immigration issues.

Roosevelt University President Ali Malekzadeh reaffirmed the university’s support for immigrant communities as a national bi-partisan campaign highlighting the power of immigrants in communities across the nation made its official launch on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

“Roosevelt University has an historic mission of non-discrimination. We believe that American democracy and liberty have thrived because of our diversity. We have always supported and will continue to support the contributions being made by immigrants on our campuses and in our communities,” Malekzadeh said.

The president made the statement as New American Economy (NAE), which is a bi-partisan group of more than 500 mayors and business leaders, rolled out its Map the Impact campaign that includes data highlighting the important role that immigrants have in their  communities and on the economy.

Malekzadeh engaged with the NAE effort last fall when Roosevelt held the university’s first American Dream Conference that included a panel discussion on the immigration issue.  During the conference, the New York-based NAE collected stories and recorded voices in support of immigration reform. Malekzadeh is one of the voices featured on the new Map the Impact website that was unveiled Tuesday by NAE. You can learn more about the NAE effort and see Malekzadeh’s statement at the NAE website.

Malekzadeh recently joined more than 600 university and college presidents across the nation in signing a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security opposing President Donald Trump’s executive order banning travel to the United States by immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Malekzadeh also has joined with university and college presidents nationwide in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals executive order, and is in support of BRIDGE Act legislation, allowing individuals who have arrived in the U.S. as children to stay for another three years without threat of deportation while Congress deals with immigration reform.

Earlier this month, Malekzadeh also formed the Outreach, Advocacy, Social Justice, Information and Safety (OASIS) Committee.  Comprised of approximately 20 members, including Roosevelt faculty, administrators, students and staff, OASIS is charged in part with reviewing and responding to immigration issues as they relate to higher education.  One of the committee’s aims will be to preserve and protect the rights of international students and immigrants, regardless of status, who are enrolled or would like to enroll at Roosevelt University, according to committee co-chair Pamela Robert.

“There are a lot of questions swirling out there about whether it’s safe for international students to come to the United States to study,” said Robert, who is a Roosevelt faculty member.

"We think it is important to get the word out there that Roosevelt not only cares about international students, but also is a place where people from all over the globe are welcome. We want them to know that Roosevelt historically has been and will continue to be grounded in social justice,” said Robert. 

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