Dartmouth Files Travel Ban Brief

Valley News Staff Writer
Friday, February 17, 2017

Hanover — Dartmouth College and more than a dozen other universities have filed a brief in federal court on behalf of an Iraqi interpreter detained as a result of President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

The case of Hameed Khalid Darweesh, an interpreter who for years worked for the United States government in Iraq, sparked the first federal ruling against Trump’s edict to block entry to the U.S. from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Darweesh, an Iraqi national, was detained in John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, N.Y., along with a handful of other travelers. A Brooklyn judge last month stayed part of Trump’s order, allowing Darweesh’s release.

Federal judges in other states subsequently blocked the executive action entirely.

Rather than bring his appeal to the Supreme Court, the president has floated the idea of issuing a new order to supersede the one challenged in the judiciary.

Dartmouth, along with 16 other universities, on Monday filed an amicus brief — a court document in support of Darweesh and the other petitioners — describing those institutions’ reliance on and support for international students, staff and scholars.

“Dartmouth College counts among its core values ‘embrac(ing) diversity with the knowledge that it significantly enhances the quality of a Dartmouth education,’ as well as ‘foster(ing) lasting bonds among faculty, staff, and students, which encourage a culture of integrity, self-reliance, and collegiality and instill a sense of responsibility for each other and for the broader world,’ ” the brief reads, in part.

The brief later notes that 15 students, scholars and staff at Dartmouth are nationals of Iraq or Iran, and that scholars and students at the school also are concerned about their ability to travel abroad and bring foreign speakers to campus.

Among the other schools signing onto the brief were the rest of the Ivy League, Stanford, University of Chicago, Duke and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.