Penn president blasts Trump immigration order

Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, on Monday addressed President Trump's recent executive order to ban immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries.

For months, University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann has been reluctant to say anything overtly critical about President Trump, a Penn alumnus.

On Monday evening, addressing Trump's recent executive order on immigration from seven Muslim majority countries, she didn't mince words.

"President Trump's recent executive order is injurious to our work and inimical to our values," Gutmann said in a message to the Penn community. "The damage already done to the lawful freedoms and opportunities of our students and colleagues, here and around the world, is undeniable and indefensible.

"This order will weaken the promise of educational opportunity, intellectual discovery, and global engagement that so distinguishes American universities," she said.

Gutmann did not offer a position on Trump's order in a vacuum. Other college presidents across the nation have condemned the executive action. On Sunday, the president of the University of Notre Dame, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, urged the president to rescind the order.

And in December 2014, Gutmann took a stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement when she participated in a "die-in" at her annual holiday party on campus.

On Monday, the university said it has students from each of the countries named in Trump's order: Iraq, Syria, Libya, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen.

"Staff across the university are right now assisting our affected community members with legal counsel and other resources," Gutmann said. "In addition to those efforts, we will do everything in our power, speak to every friend and ally, and leave no stone unturned in our efforts to urge President Trump to change course and rectify the horrible damage this order has caused."

Gutmann, 67, who has been Penn's president since 2004, also noted her background as the daughter of a Jewish immigrant who fled Nazi Germany. She said immigration strengthens the nation and the university.

"They are a precious national resource and invaluable to Penn," she said.

Trump graduated from the Wharton School in 1968. His relationship with his alma mater has been strained, though he touted the link on the campaign trail. Thousands of Wharton students, faculty and alumni signed an anti-Trump letter during his campaign. Trump's son Donald Jr. and daughter Ivanka both graduated from Wharton, while his other daughter, Tiffany, graduated from Penn's College of Arts and Sciences.