Mayor Davis’ Letter to Garamendi on Muslim Ban

Protesters in front of Congressman Garamendi’s Office on Tuesday

The following is a letter sent from Mayor Robb Davis to Congressman John Garamendi; at the end is a joint statement from the mayor and Acting UC Davis Chancellor Ralph Hexter

Representative Garmendi:
Thanks for your interest in the challenges the City of Davis and UC Davis are facing in light of President Trump’s executive order restricting entry for citizens from 7, predominantly-Muslim nations. UC Davis has 87 students or scholars from Iran, Iraq and Libya, with unknown numbers of Iranian faculty, family members and workers with permanent residency living in our City.
In addition, the following shows the large numbers of students and scholars from other predominantly Muslim countries currently at UC Davis. While these countries are not covered by the current Executive Order, students and scholars from them are very concerned about their future status and ability to travel home or receive visitors from home.
1. Bangladesh: 14 students, 9 scholars
2. Egypt: 14 students, 7 scholars
3. Indonesia: 147 students, 1 scholar
4. Malaysia: 49 students, 6 scholars
5. Morocco: 4 students, 1 scholar
6. Nigeria: 4 students, 2 scholars
7. Pakistan: 18 students, 14 scholars
8. Turkey: 31 students, 9 scholars
Beyond these numbers we have over 5000 students and scholars at UC Davis, many of whom are actively questioning what future actions by this administration might mean for them. This is an incredibly disorienting time for all our international guests.
Here are some specific cases that illustrate challenges that students and scholars all over the country are facing at this time. These are specific to our community. (Note: as you know, F-1 status is for students at any degree level authorized to study in the US at accredited universities. J-1 can refer either to students or scholars in the US Visitor Exchange Program)
1. A former J-1 scholar from Iran is in the US arranging the move of his wife and son, while awaiting green card processing. He was to have left the US for final interviews and processing but is now uncertain. He has an appointment in UC Davis’ Plant Sciences Department.
2. An Iranian PhD student who was to have started at UC Davis this spring (he was accepted), recently obtained his visa, was to arrive in March, 2017, to start classes April 4. His ability to start then is now in doubt. In addition, his proposed roommate, who is already here from Iran, was counting on him to share expenses. This person, now finds himself in a difficult situation.
3. An Iranian F-2 (spouse of F-1) is concerned about her ability to change to F-1 status to become a student. She has been accepted at UC Davis.
4. An Iranian student applying for a Master’s program in Engineering at UC Davis is asking about whether she should continue her application process.
5. The spouse of an F-1 student (F-2 status) is currently stuck outside the US and unable to be reunited with her family.
6. An Iranian F-1 PhD student, who started in Fall 2016 quarter had invited his father to visit. This student has a sister with two children in the US and she and they are American citizens. The father/grandfather had a visa interview scheduled in Yerevan, Armenia for February 8th so he could come on a tourist visa to visit the student son and daughter and grandchildren. His visa interview has now been canceled. Attached are the pictures of the two grandchildren he will not be able to see. He has not been able to see his daughter for five years.
7. Scholar advisors at UC Davis are being asked by scholars of these countries if it is safe to travel within the USA. The fact that scholars must ask this shows the fear that exists.
8. Departmental staff is questioning whether to admit students or invite scholars from these countries for summer and fall arrivals. There is much confusion.
9. A high profile scholar from one of the countries (his profile might put him at risk) was set to come to UC Davis to do research on responses to humanitarian abuses in his country. Because of the order, UC Davis was not permitted to provide him with documentation necessary to obtain a visa.
These stories were gathered in the past 5 hours WITHIN the City of Davis and the University. We are a small city of 65,000.
The fact that Iranians are the main nationality represented comes as no surprise. UC Davis and the City of Davis are home to many Iranians and have been for a generation at least. The fact that the Trump Administration can point to NO attacks by Iranians on US soil or against US interests makes their exclusion seem particularly arbitrary and cruel to us.
Finally, I wanted to share with you a joint statement from Interim Chancellor Ralph Hexter and me to our campus and community. Thanks for helping us get the word out on the challenges that we are facing in light of the Executive Order.
A message to the community on the immigration executive order:
Our city and university host over 5,000 international students, faculty members and scholars, as well as their families. Many of them come from nations with majority Muslim populations. These are our neighbors, friends and colleagues. They have faces and stories we know well. They contribute in myriad ways to our community and our university. They are part of us. We are deeply concerned by the impact of the recent executive order that restricts the ability of students, faculty, staff and other members of our community from certain countries to return to the United States if they are currently traveling or plan to travel abroad. The threat of the order and the order itself are already having impacts on people in our town and university, on their academic, professional and personal lives.
We understand it is the federal government’s role to maintain the security of the nation’s borders. However, this executive order’s impact on our friends and colleagues is inconsistent with the values of our community. It has created uncertainty and fear that hurts the University of California, Davis, and the city of Davis.
We have long been deeply enriched by students, faculty, scholars and health care professionals from around the world — including the affected countries — coming to study, teach, research and make our lives richer and better. Any effort to make these valuable members of our community feel unwelcome is antithetical to our mission of expanding learning and generating new knowledge. Nothing, however, will cause us to retreat from the shared principles of community we have developed together, and to all of our friends from here and abroad, you have our commitment to welcome you.
Sincerely,
Ralph J. Hexter
Interim Chancellor
Robb Davis
Mayor, city of Davis

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84 Comments

  1. Colin Walsh

    This letter seems more like it is from Robb Davis, UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars Intake Advisor than from Robb Davis, City of Davis Mayor.

        1. Colin Walsh

          Good job Congressman.

          The letter would be stronger if it was from the City Council as a whole so that the fact the Mayor is Scholars Intake Advisor for UC Davis Services for International Students, does not muddy the message. I would encourage the City Council to do just that, and to add in at least a mention that there are also Davis residents not affiliated with the University that are affected by the ban. 

          Again, I know the Mayors intentions are stellar, and I appreciate his willingness to speak out on this subject.

          1. Don Shor

            I am not trying to make a big issue here, just a small aside.

            Other than just mentioning it three or four times. Yeah.

          1. Don Shor

            I would prefer that you not bring up the “side issue” in the first place, since it was simply a pointless dig at the mayor.

        2. Don Shor

          When you make statements (such as the quote above), are you doing so as a “moderator”, or as a “commenter”?

          When I am acting as moderator, I preface the remarks with [moderator]: ______ , edited into the comment. Or, as of January, I might use a Moderator log-in. Anything else is just me participating as a commenter.

        3. Colin Walsh

          OK Don, that seems pretty thin skinned to me. I have state repeatedly that I appreciate the Mayors efforts, and believe his intentions to be excellent. All I did is point out that the letter reads like it is from a UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars Intake Adviser rather than from the Mayor of the City of Davis. After all, it does not mention any affected Davis residents that are not affiliated either directly, or by family with the University. That feels like a pretty mild commentary to me, after all, I completely agree with what the letter says. What do you find so troubling about that?

          Do you disagree that a letter form the full City Council would be a stronger statement?

          1. Don Shor

            Our city and university host over 5,000 international students, faculty members and scholars, as well as their families. Many of them come from nations with majority Muslim populations. These are our neighbors, friends and colleagues. They have faces and stories we know well. They contribute in myriad ways to our community and our university. They are part of us. We are deeply concerned by the impact of the recent executive order that restricts the ability of students, faculty, staff and other members of our community from certain countries to return to the United States if they are currently traveling or plan to travel abroad. The threat of the order and the order itself are already having impacts on people in our town and university, on their academic, professional and personal lives.

          2. Don Shor

            Do you disagree that a letter form the full City Council would be a stronger statement?

            Just realized I hadn’t answered this question. I believe it would be perfectly appropriate for the city council to write a letter about the impact of the immigration policies on the city’s residents, and that the letter signed by the chancellor and the mayor appropriately focused more on the impact on the university members of the community. Even though I don’t think our congressman needs persuasion, the more letters the better.

        4. Colin Walsh

          Don, I really don’t see why you are so hostile on this. You quoted the very language I used as an example, “Our city and university host over 5,000 international students, faculty members and scholars, as well as their families.”  that limits this letter entirely to University related people. It in no way mentions all the other people who live in Davis who are affected by the EO.

          All of these other people are also our  “our neighbors,  friends and colleagues. They have faces and stories we know well. They contribute in myriad ways to our community and our university. They are part of us. We are deeply concerned by the impact of the recent executive order that restricts the ability of students, faculty, staff and other members of our community from certain countries to return to the United States if they are currently traveling or plan to travel abroad. The threat of the order and the order itself are already having impacts on people in our town and university, on their academic, professional and personal lives.”

          I doubt the Mayor omitted non University affiliated people affected by the EO with any malice, it just made the letter read like it was from the University, not from a City official. Like I have been saying, Robb has been excellent on this issue, and I fully believe that Mayor Davis intends to stand up for everyone in Davis affected by this EO.

      1. Colin Walsh

        Because the letter does not mention any example that is not associated with UCD. This sentence is a good example, “Our city and university host over 5,000 international students, faculty members and scholars, as well as their families.” There is no mention of anyone who lives in the City of Davis who is not either directly associated with UCD or connected to UCD by family who might be effected by the Executive Order. I would think the Mayor might write something broader.

        That said, I appreciate the Mayors efforts on this front and agree with him.

         

         

        1. Robb Davis

          These people ALL live in the City Colin–except for the former J-1 scholar who has not been able to move here yet, and the sister of the F-1 student who lives elsewhere.  I have met with several Iranian students who live in Davis to get their stories.  An Iranian resident of 30+ years alerted me to two of the stories and I contacted the students to get more details and assure what I shared was accurate.  These are stories of Davis residents, some which were brought to my attention by a Davis resident.

    1. Tia Will

      Colin ( post of 6:39 am)

      The relationship between UCD, it’s students and scholars, and the City of Davis is critical to both. This is an issue that transcends the university or the city as isolated entities. Everyone should be speaking up on this issue and I thank the mayor for his voice from a leadership position on this issue.

      1. Colin Walsh

        Tia, I agree completely on the importance of the issue, and I appreciate the Mayors efforts. I have no doubt of the Mayors stellar intentions. The Mayors other writings on this have been more inclusive of the City as a whole, but this letter is focused on the University, and would seem to overlap with his job there. I am not trying to make a big issue here, just a small aside.

        1. Matt Williams

          Colin, in making your small aside you are diverting the attention of Vanguard readers from the important issue … the Mayor and Chancellor’s message … to your quibble with Robb’s rhetoric.

          One has to wonder why your small aside is more important to you than the Mayor and Chancellor’s message?

          Further, I suspect if you polled all 65,000 Davis residents, and all the UCD Faculty and Staff, and all the students living on campus, less than one out of 20 would know that Robb is an Intake Advisor at UC Davis Services for International Students and Scholars … and even fewer of that multitude would care that he is.

          Finally, you state “There is no mention of anyone who lives in the City of Davis who is not either directly associated with UCD or connected to UCD by family who might be effected by the Executive Order.”  That is an incorrect statement on your part.  The seventh sentence of the statement reads as follows (bolding added) “We are deeply concerned by the impact of the recent executive order that restricts the ability of students, faculty, staff and other members of our community from certain countries to return to the United States if they are currently traveling or plan to travel abroad.”

        2. Colin Walsh

          OK, Matt, Like I keep saying, I appreciate the Mayors efforts on this. I agree with him on the issue. Despite the 6 words you site, I maintain what I see as a very minor critique – this reads as if it was written mroe from the University perspective. This letter is very specific about University related issues and lacks specificity on other residents affected by the EO, but like I keep saying, more power to the Mayor for taking on the issue. I appreciate his efforts.

          Did you see David’s report on his Facebook page?

          I was forwarded the following information regarding ICE in Davis: “Apparently, last week (an individual) went to the DMV in Davis to 1) pay for a ticket he had gotten and 2) apply for a drivers license.
          “Sunday morning, 6am, ICE officials in plain clothes, driving a black truck, knock on his apartment door. He doesn’t know his rights. They take him away. Before they do, they demand to see the papers of his girlfriend in the apartment.”

          Immigration issues are very real and immediately relevant in Davis.

        3. Matt Williams

          I agree 100% that immigration issues are very real and immediately relevant in Davis.  Which is why your continuing to reiterate your rhetorical problem with Mayor Davis and his employment at the University is such a bizarre refocusing of the attention on your part.  It reads as if you have an agenda regarding UC Davis and/or UC Davis employees.

        4. Colin Walsh

          Like I have said over and over again, I agree with Mayor Davis on this issue, and appreciate his advocacy. It is not clear to me why you are having a problem with me saying that. I made what I have characterized as a very minor critique – this reads as if it was written from the University perspective. It is a little puzzling to me that you see that as something extremely significant. Perhaps I have not been reading enough conspiracy novels because I am having a little trouble imagining what the “agenda” you are suggesting is. Like I keep saying, I agree with the Mayors advocacy.

          So Matt, what is fueling your bizarre but intense interest in my thoughts on what perspective this letter seems to be written from?

        5. Matt Williams

          Colin, you are talking the talk, but not walking the walk.  Instead of focusing your comments/rhetoric on the real issue, you continue to spend more words on questioning Robb Davis’ character than on the message he and the Chancellor promulgated with their joint release.

          If it really wasn’t important to you to attack Robb’s character you would simply drop the whole line of discussion.  Unfortunately, you prefer to continue to defend your choice of rhetoric.

          The whole dialogue on your point comes across as damning with faint praise.

        6. Ron

          For the record, my comments keep getting deleted.  (This one will probably disappear, as well.)  I understand that it’s a technical problem, and that the Vanguard is looking into it.

          1. David Greenwald

            I don’t understand why you’re comments would be getting deleted. Did another one go today?

        7. Colin Walsh

          Matt,

          Your quite puzzling really. I have stated up and down this page that I agree with the Mayor, appreciate his advocacy and think his intentions are stellar. I don’t understand why you persist in pursuing a topic that you say should be dropped.

          I have said over and over again the perspective the letter is written from is a very minor point, but you see it as a significant attack on Robb’s character. You will have to explain that to me someday because it seems like a pretty big overreach to me.

        8. Matt Williams

          Colin, you are the one who initiated the criticism of Robb.  You are therefore the one who needs to bring it to an end.  That is simple ownership on your part of your creation.

          I and others have very clearly pointed out to you that your words of praise to Robb are hollow when put into the context you have put them into.  The old expression, “You do ten things right, and one thing wrong, and you are farther behind than when you started” comes to mind.

        9. Colin Walsh

          Matt, The only attacks on someones character going on here, is you attacking me. I am hard pressed to see how you think my statements of support for Robb’s work on this issue are an attack on Rob’s character. Look at my posts, I have stated again and again that I appreciate Robb’s advocacy, and credit him with having stellar intentions. If you insist on continuing to post on this topic and level your over reaching accusations at me, please explain how suggesting this letter reads like it is coming from the University is an attack on Robb’s character?

        10. Howard P

          David… there do seem to be some “hiccups” on viewing and posting today… I’m not savvy enough to advise you where to look, but it is clear it is not just me…

        11. Matt Williams

          Colin, if you watched the PBS News Hour this evening you saw very graphical evidence of my point to you in PBS’ coverage of the challenges that Republicans face in their attempts to repeal/replace the Affordable Care Act. Paul Solman, in his Making Sense feature (which begins at the 31:00 point at http://www.pbs.org/newshour/videos/#205791) At the 36:50 point Solman in his interview of Cornell economist Bob Frank discusses the principle of Loss Aversion. Human beings value the downside much more than the upside. (see https://youtu.be/HVNGJpoSuk8)

          Your attacks on Robb’s integrity are downside, which far outweigh your upside comments about him.  You then doubled down by repeatedly justifying the importance of your downside remarks, with an “oh by the way” reference each time to your upside remarks.

          Of course, given your work experience, that human nature reality isn’t something new to you.

        12. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “For the record, my comments keep getting deleted.  (This one will probably disappear, as well.)  I understand that it’s a technical problem, and that the Vanguard is looking into it.”

          Ron, since you have proactively asserted the anonymity of your screen name “Ron” following your assertions that Mayor Davis’ integrity is subject to question because of his employment by UCD, is it possible that your posting here using that anonymous screen name is being recognized by the Vanguard software as being in violation of the Vanguard’s new no anonymous posters policy?

          Are you continuing to assert the privilege of anonymity?  Shouldn’t you be following the pattern established by Howard P, Keith O, Richard C, et.al. and include a last name initial after Ron?

          Of course that only addresses the symptom of your assertion of anonymity, but not the root cause behind that assertion.  You submit your comments in other venues (electronic and written) absent the veil of anonymity, what makes the Vanguard different?

          [moderator:

          “is it possible that your posting here using that anonymous screen name is being recognized by the Vanguard software as being in violation of the Vanguard’s new no anonymous posters policy?”

          — No.]

        13. Ron

          Matt:

          Thanks to Don, for answering your question.

          I think you need to take a “chill pill”, regarding your line of questioning to Colin (and now me). As I’ve noted, there appears to be a great deal of “defensiveness” whenever the mayor’s employment is discussed. (Even though he’s responsible for representing the city’s interests in a conflict with the university, while working for the same department that’s responsible for much of the increased enrollment.)

        14. Colin Walsh

          Matt, you are way out of line. The only person on here who is attacking anyone’s integrity is you. Perhaps it is you focusing on downside. You have yet to manage to describe how I have done what you suggest. Again and again I tell you I agree with Robb, and appreciate his advocacy, his letter just sounded like it came from a UCD administrator, that is a pretty minor comment. The only person on here raising the character and integrity issues is you. You should probably take a break.

          I hope you have a peaceful and restful night.

        15. Howard P

          OK, Ron, you’ve stepped over a line (BIG TIME!)…

          (Even though he’s responsible for representing the city’s interests in a conflict with the university, while working for the same department that’s responsible for much of the increased enrollment.)

          I actually defended you a bit, off-line, with posters I actually trust… that DOES NOT INCLUDE YOU…

          Robb Davis has no legal conflict of interest… that is defined as a monetary one… but perhaps your ‘troll’ brain can’t grasp that… Robb cannot gain financially from the letter, and better yet, having interacted with him, usually when we disagreed, he would not be intrinsically capable of it if he technically could… but he can’t… no nexus (let me know if the words I’m using elude you… will explain, as necessary).

          Robb is a person of integrity, and I say that (again) as someone who does not see “eye-to-eye” with him ~ 50% of the time… but I respect him and his moral/professional underpinnings.

          To accuse Robb of a “conflict” borders on slander/libel… I actually agree with Colin that he could have been more “effective” had it come from the CC, but suspect he would have gotten either a 5-0 or 4-0-1 vote had he gone that route.

          Get your head out, or…

        16. Ron

          Howard:

          I would agree that t the letter itself is not a significant concern, regarding conflict of interest.  (One could argue that the mayor overlooked related concerns of residents who have no connection to the university.  I believe that Colin provided some examples.)

          The letter itself seems to be written by someone from the university, and not necessarily the city.  Perhaps the mayor doesn’t fully recognize the difference?  (Since he’s supposedly representing the city, I’m also wondering if other council members were consulted.)

          Regarding the conflict of interest, I stand by that comment 100%.  We’ve had this discussion, previously.  Your comments (as well as Matt’s) demonstrate an “attack-dog” mentality, whenever someone questions the mayor’s employment.  Again, he’s representing the city (on the LRDP subcommittee) in a conflict with the university, regarding the university’s enrollment plans (and its impact on the city).  He works for the same department that the university has elevated in importance, to reach its goal of increasing enrollment (via more profitable non-resident students).

          You’ll probably recall that this same subcommittee was not able to achieve any significant results (over a very lengthy period of time), and announced this to the council and city shortly before the university was ready to proceed with its EIR for the LRDP.  However, as a result of immediate reaction from the community, the full council did submit their concerns to the university, shortly before the EIR process began.  It remains to be seen if this will have any significant impact, or if the (same) LRDP subcommittee will adequately represent the interests of the city, going forward.

          Regarding the mayor’s personal integrity, I suspect that you’re right (especially when it comes to issues like those discussed in his letter). However, I remain concerned that he does not fully appreciate the differences between his duties as mayor, vs. his position as an intake advisor for the international students department. (And, I think that clues to his thinking are demonstrated in his letter, to some degree.)

        17. Ron

          Howard:

          To clarify, I did not comment on the “legality” of the mayor’s employment.  (I recall that you keep bringing that up, even though I’ve repeatedly clarified this.)

           

        18. Howard P

          Ron… you truly do not understand… (your 9:36 post)… or, perhaps I was less articulate than I strive to be…

          You seem to hold on to the term “conflict” and avoid the term “conflict of interest” (except as noted below) which you seem to imply, often.

          “Conflict” per se, is not bad… implies you can understand more than one side of an issue… making a charitable donation to a worthy cause is a “conflict’… between your financial resources and a ‘better good’… if two of your children come up to you with a disagreement (crying/shouting, etc) and need you to mediate, that is a “conflict”… one might hate you (“you’re a bad daddy”) and the other give you a hug… “conflict” (not a COI) is natural… and an opportunity to think/judge/act.

          In this case, your,

          Regarding the conflict of interest, I stand by that comment 100%.

          To which I reply, show your evidence or shut up.

          And,

          We’ve had this discussion, previously.

          As to you and me, regarding Robb, I think not.  An alt-fact?

          And,

          Your comments (as well as Matt’s) demonstrate an “attack-dog” mentality, whenever someone questions the mayor’s employment.

          I don’t give a “tinkers damn” about the Mayor’s employment, as long as there is no COI.  Didn’t even know about it until you brought it up.  As to “attack dog”, that is true… for bullies and attack dogs (you perhaps, because you dislike Robb’s ‘positions’ on your issues), I’ve always fought bullies, even if I was likely to be the loser, and every dog is entitled to attack back if they or those who they respect are attacked… I plead guilty on that, but I was not the dog to start the fight… you were the attacker, IMO… (and yes, I know dogs).

          Finally (figuratively and literally),

          However, I remain concerned that he does not fully appreciate the differences between his duties as mayor, vs. his position as an intake advisor for the international students department. (And, I think that clues to his thinking are demonstrated in his letter, to some degree.)

          Your ‘concerns’ you are entitled to… your “thinking”, the same… I share neither.

          [will leave to Matt his own defense, if he chooses]

        19. Ron

          Howard:

          I’ve already described the situation which describes the conflict.  (No sense repeating it, here.)

          Here’s a general description of conflict of interest:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest

          I’m sure that there’s other information and criteria that can be researched and debated.  But, are you actually interested, or just being defensive?  (That’s a rhetorical question, of course.)

          You and (some) others are apparently viewing this as an attack on personal integrity, which is not accurate.

        20. Howard P

          Ron (your 9:58 post)… acknowledged, but did not see when I composed my later one… there is clearly no legal problem… we are in agreement there… that leaves moral/ethical/”optics” (I HATE that latter term… why can’t we keep using the term ‘appearances’?  Not aimed at you, Ron [you didn’t use any of those terms], just at the ‘culture’ as to ‘optics’)

        21. Matt Williams

          Ron said . . . “Even though he’s responsible for representing the city’s interests in a conflict with the university, while working for the same department that’s responsible for much of the increased enrollment.”

          He works for the same department that the university has elevated in importance, to reach its goal of increasing enrollment (via more profitable non-resident students).

          Robb works in the Admissions Department?  Your anonymous imagination knows no bounds.

        22. Ron

          Matt:

          I’d suggest that it’s you who lack imagination (common sense?), regarding working as an intake advisor in the international student department, which is responsible for much of the increased enrollment (and has apparently been elevated in size, status, importance, and profitability/financial contribution to the university), while simultaneously engaging in a conflict (on behalf of the city) regarding the university’s inadequate plans to address that department’s increased enrollment.  Really?

          How “comfortable” do you think someone in Robb’s position would be, publicly opposing what his own department (and ultimately his supervisors) are planning?  (For example, taking a position on behalf of the city to request a limit on enrollment increases until such time that the university constructs sufficient housing on campus.)  The university is actively resisting this (apparently including Hexter, who co-authored the letter with Robb, above).

        23. Ron

          By the way, here’s Hexter’s response to Robb (in which he essentially “declines” the city’s requests):

          http://documents.cityofdavis.org/Media/Default/Documents/PDF/CityCouncil/CouncilMeetings/Agendas/20170207/05J-UCD-Letter-LRDP.pdf

          Let’s see what (if anything) the subcommittee (and full council) does next, in terms of a response. As previously noted, there was very little response, prior to the meetings around December (when the public became concerned and involved, as the subcommittee presented its (lack of) “results”.

        24. Ron

          I just read Hexter’s letter a little more carefully.  Not only is he denying the city’s requests, he’s asking Robb to essentially “work with the university” to house those students in the city – that the university is unwilling to accomodate.

          But – of course there’s no “conflict of interest”, according to Matt.  Hey, they’re all just “friends working together”, right?

          Make no mistake about this.  If Robb and the rest of the council go along with this, it will reduce availability of housing for non-students, and will encourage the conversion of revenue-generating commercial property (e.g., the proposed conversion on Chiles Road, among others).  But, maybe that’s “o.k.” in the minds of some leaders, since it seems that they are simultaneously trying to “build a case” to convince everyone that there’s a dire financial need to annex land outside of city limits for commercial/residential projects (aka, “innovation centers”). On existing commercial/non-residential sites, we’ll have mega-dorms.

          [moderator] Just a quick reminder that the topic of this thread is the immigration policy and its impact.

          1. David Greenwald

            Ron: I think you guys are reading into stuff that’s not there. Look at Robb’s very critical statements in today’s article regarding the end of shared management of the fire department.

  2. Tia Will

    Kudos to Robb Davis and acting Chancellor Hexter for their vocal sharing of the detrimental impact of this ill conceived, non productive and dangerous action by the current president.

  3. Keith O

    The fact that the Trump Administration can point to NO attacks by Iranians on US soil or against US interests makes their exclusion seem particularly arbitrary and cruel to us.

    Whhaaaat?  The Iranians are/were a huge sponser of attacks on our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    1. Robb Davis

      Keith O – Your statements are inaccurate.  Shia militias supported US objectives against ISIS in Iraq and have consistently fought against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

        1. Don Shor

          And yet, interestingly, the Iran-backed Shi’ite militias are now fighting alongside the Iraqi forces and the Kurds as they press toward Mosul to liberate it from ISIS. Putting that coalition together was a challenge, to say the least. Hence the long run-up to the actual start of the military action. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, as they say.
          There is not a history of Iranian terrorists going out from Iran to cause mayhem in other countries. Scholars and professionals coming from Iran to the United States are not a threat. Any beef we have now is with the government of Iran and especially the Revolutionary Guard. Iran makes no sense being on this list.

        2. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

          Don

          Shiite Militia is butchers like ISIS . Now they are ally like Al-Queida was American ally against Soviets in Afghanistan and Trade Center went down . You have  a  selective memory  and you don’t know what you are talking about .

          1. Don Shor

            you don’t know what you are talking about .

            Actually, I do. Shi’ite militias are cooperating with the Iraqi forces, the US-led coalition, and the Peshmerga in the operation against ISIS in Mosul.
            https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/shiite-militias-join-offensive-to-retake-mosul-from-islamic-state/2016/10/29/1c0e0a3d-324e-4063-b3d4-f26393e54de1_story.html?utm_term=.c7dd807e67e3
            Making a chart of who has been on which side in conflicts in that part of the world over the last 50 – 60 years would be complicated, to put it mildly.

        3. Keith O

          I think if you asked the families of the 500 dead soldiers at the hands of Irani bombs, explosives and munitions they would have a totally different opinion.  Iran has sponsored terrorism all over the world.

          1. Don Shor

            There are over a million Iranian-Americans. Tens of thousands of visas get issued to Iranians each year to travel to and from the US to study, work, and visit their families. There has never been an Iranian implicated in a terror attack here. The Iranian government has sponsored terror groups. But Iranian citizens, and Iranian-Americans, are not a terror threat. As has been noted by many commentators, the countries that have actually exported terrorists to the U.S. are not listed. So clearly the list was not made with any specific goal of making America safer. It doesn’t. It wasn’t thought out clearly, it was implemented ridiculously poorly, and it achieves no discernible goal other than giving the appearance of fulfilling one of Trump’s campaign lines.

          2. Don Shor

            Countries of origins of immigrants who committed terror attacks in the United States:
            Pakistan
            Saudi Arabia
            Afghanistan
            Chechnya
            United Arab Emirates
            Egypt
            Lebanon 
            Countries listed on the travel ban:
            Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Iran

  4. Keith O

    I’ve always been a strong advocate that our state students should have first dibs, then our national students and international last and only if there are spots still available.

    1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

      I’ve always been a strong advocate that our state students should have first dibs. 

      Keith

      This is  the whole point . California legislators intervention was needed to admit more students from California .. This is a business and Robb Davis and Hexter don’t care where  money are coming from .  More than one  decade  ago Al-Queida was getting money  from California Mosques and Muslim communities as well until FBI  framed and nabbed guy  from Pakistan in Lodi where I live . The Pakistani supposedly was trained in Al-Queida’s   camp in Pakistan and allegedly  plotted to blow up people in the Shopping Malls.

      https://youtu.be/O9sUJ0TkPPw   ( I made this video)

      Guy was driving n on my street in Ice Cream Truck .  He got 24 years in Federal Prison . People are forgetting that  war is going on in Iraq , Syria, Afghanistan and that America has troops over there  and that ISIS looking to establish their presence training camps  in the countries listed in  President Trump exclusion list with exception to Iran which is backing up Hutis rebels  in Yemen because they are Shia Muslims not Sunni and Iran is major weapons supplier for them against Sunni government backed up by  the Saudi Arabia and USA .  People quickly forgetting  how many  innocent Americans were killed because of terrorist attack on American soil  and City of Davis and UC Davis is not immune to became a target or base for  the requirement of  new terrorists  by  ISIS.  Ignorance. One brainwashed  fanatic could do a lot of damage and it was already proved  many times .

  5. Howard P

    While a letter regarding the EO moratorium on travel, is very important, for practical, philosophical,and humanitarian reasons, I hope that other issues raised at the mini-rally don’t get lost…

    One of your pictures in the article is someone who has gone thru great medical challenges… what happens to the ACA system is crucial as well, and affects millions, both for citizens and for documented/legal (and even undocumented) folk… particularly related to pre-existing conditions, and affordability.  I hope this and other topics raised gets similar attention.

    The pre-existing condition thing is huge for many… it is not uncommon for an apparently healthy individual, “age-out” of parental health coverage, THEN be diagnosed with bi-polar in early adulthood, and then unable to get coverage as by the time it manifests, it is a ‘pre-existing condition’.

    So, as we continue to push our rep to oppose the administration’s action on visa/immigration/refugees, and travel, suggest we don’t completely lose sight of the other potentially dangerous areas that the campaign suggested we should be concerned about.

     

    1. Tia Will

      Howard

      Thanks to you for bringing this up.

      I agree that the health care issues are also major. The pre-existing condition problem is huge and you are right to identify major mental health conditions as one major concern since there are a number which may not manifest until the individual is “between” insurances immediately after college graduation as was the case with my daughter whose mental health condition was anorexia and came close to costing her her life. She will never be able to afford any insurance that has limitations based on pre-existing conditions. Nor will I now that I have had a bulging disc that has limited my mobility. Nor any of our three sons who have all  battled depression.

      Many don’t acknowledge this, but we threaten to cause both an increased number of abortions and an increased number of maternal perinatal deaths when we limit women’s access to contraceptives and preventative health care services.

  6. Keith O

    What happened to my post about admitting students from California first?

    [moderator] I removed the post you were replying to, so it disappears with it or just gets left hanging in a weird way. We can’t really correct that. Here’s what you said:

    I’ve always been a strong advocate that our state students should have first dibs, then our national students and international last and only if there are spots still available.

    1. Howard P

      Suspect there are some website issues… can’t see Jerry’s most recent one, and the path to click on a comment on upper right hasn’t seemed to be functional the last hour or so…

        1. Jaroslaw Waszczuk

          Keith

          This was basically  my post which magically disappeared .

          “Beyond these numbers we have over 5000 students and scholars at UC Davis, many of whom are actively questioning what future actions by this administration might mean for them.”
           
          5000 students and scholars is a big business for the  City of Davis and UC Davis as well . Good job Mayor of Davis  Mr. Robb Davis  and the  Acting UC Davis Chancellor Ralp Hexter .

          [moderator] Thank you for reposting. I have removed the part that was objectionable.

  7. Todd Edelman

    I’m new to Davis, Jewish (and a Child of Shoah Survivors) and I’m very impressed with how both University and City of Davis leadership has responded to Bannonism’s violent attack on Muslim immigrants, Muslims, Islam and much of what’s good about this country. (Jews are also being attacked, but speaking personally I don’t feel an existential threat… just yet.)
    Also, while interfaith collaboration is rather common these days – at least between mainstream congregations – it was also great to see three representatives of the Jewish community in Davis up on stage at the solidarity rally last Friday in Central Park: Rabbi Greg from Bet Haverim, another man who played music – who again was this?, and a representative from Jewish Voice for Peace who asked for help in distributing Muslim immigrant welcome-type posters around town (and even Hillel of Davis and Sac has some good things to say – link to PDF – in a joint letter.).
    After the rally I visited the Islamic Center… yes, my first ever visit to a mosque. Why did I wait so long? Anyway, some good discussions there and one thing was made clear is that it’s important that solidarity is expressed at an individual level, and not just at events or through the wise words of elected and appointed leaders.

    1. Howard P

      Duh… why indeed did it take you so long?   Christianity started out as a sect of Judaism… Christ (Jesus) was a Jewish reformer, but most Jews could not handle his Son of Man/God thing… Islam actually researched Jewish and Christian beliefs and texts to develop the Qu’ran (Koran, whatever)… there is a book in the Qu’ran focusing on Jesus’ mother, Mary… Islam traces its roots to Ishmael, son of Abraham.  Islam recognizes Jesus as a prophet, but like Jews, they do not acknowledge him as the Son of God…

      There is a huge difference in identifying as practicing a religion, and being spiritual, then choosing what faith system you choose to express that spirituality.  Ex.  ISIS pretends to be religious, but they twist Islamic writings, and have no true spirituality unless you consider political and other power to be ‘spiritual’…

      Congratulations, though, for opening your eyes a bit… next year, check out the Children of Abraham event… participate… open your eyes wider.  A quote from my faith… “that all may be one”… meant in common ground, not coercion…

        1. Howard P

          Ok, let’s leave it at “what took you so long”?

          Ignore the rest… the reason I ask is not to ‘snipe’, but to figure out how to get people to lose their pre-conceptions, and learn about others… honestly meant…

          Maybe I was lucky… I was taught/modelled to seek out such things from my late teen years…

  8. Howard P

    Jerry… looks like one of your responses to me, and my reply, got moderated out… and probably rightfully so… feel free to follow up by e-mailing me @ hortensepierce@yahoo.com… I don’t check that one every day, but will the next two days… you did misunderstand my point…

  9. Robb Davis

    Ron, posting anonymously, wrote:

    However, I remain concerned that he does not fully appreciate the differences between his duties as mayor, vs. his position as an intake advisor for the international students department. (And, I think that clues to his thinking are demonstrated in his letter, to some degree.)

    Some would say that using the insights I am able to gain as someone who works daily with international students–all of whom are Davis residents–to alert our Congressman about the impact of EOs on our entire community is an example good leadership.  You, however, turn it into a liability.

    At the rally in Central Park last week where I spoke in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters (residents of Davis), I met many members of the Muslim community who have lived in Davis for years.  One man in particular, a naturalized citizen from Iran who has done work for the City as a consultant, was among those I met.  We talked about the challenges facing the Iranian community in Davis.  The impacts of the EO were not fully known at that point.

    As I went back to work this week and started hearing from (mostly Iranian) students and scholars about very specific issues they were facing, I reached out to Representative Garamendi to alert him to the problem in hopes that he could begin to consider a legislative challenge to the EO.  He got back to me and requested specific incidents.  I then reached out to the Davis citizen whom I had met and he connected me with a scholar and a student who had not approached me.  I wrote their stories and added to them from what I was hearing from colleagues with whom I work.  Last night Representative Garamendi read my letter into the Congressional record.

    I used my position as Mayor to take concerns expressed by a Davis citizen, added others I gleaned from my work on campus, and took an action that I believe was a responsible one.  The fact is, most of the Davis residents affected by the EO are students and scholars because the University is here. The fact that I have technical knowledge of the specific challenges being faced by these people (entry refusal after having obtained an F-1 or J-1 visa, OPT application blocks, etc.) enables me to translate concerns for policy makers in an accurate way.  That is solid advocacy.

    Yesterday I had two more Iranian students in my office at UCD.  They are visibly ill as their OPT applications remain in doubt along with their future.  I worked with them as an advisor to develop a strategy for their future and connected them with the ACLU which is working to develop a case against the EO on these important technical grounds.  As Mayor, I will share their stories with elected officials.

    I am, in other words, on the front line of the fallout from the President’s EOs.  The people I am working with have been in Davis for years.  I am also using my privileged position on the front lines to relay messages to elected officials.  Because I am the Mayor, I have access that some other may not have.

    Ron has turned what many would see as a unique opportunity into an attack (veiled as it may be) on my credibility.  Ron, I know you disdain me–for reasons I do not fully understand.  You have never written to me to express these concerns, choosing instead to go after me here.  You do so anonymously.

    I must wonder why you are doing this. In these times one would think that ALL efforts to stem the policies that are destructive of human lives would be lauded.  Instead, you take my considered professional approach to dealing with them and turn it into an attack on me.

    As an Advisor in the Services for International Students and Scholars I do not recruit or admit students to the University. Rather, I work with those who have been admitted to assure they have the paperwork necessary to obtain a visa.  I advise them on their on- and off-campus rights vis-a-vis employment.  I help students who have been dismissed to understand their options.  I troubleshoot visa and other problems and help them maintain paperwork required for the many complex requirements they must follow.

    I am also a Voluntary Clinical Faculty member in the Department of Public Health.  I do not get paid for this work.  I give up evenings and weekends to advise future public health practitioners on a variety of items. I speak to classes about my 25 years of experience in community-based programming.  I don’t earn a dime for this work (though I got a free lunch once).  I do this because I am committed to helping others thrive in a field that I love and that has brought positive changes to the planet.

    You can continue to question my credibility and suggest I lack the professionalism to distinguish my role as an advisor from that of Mayor.  I suppose that is your right.  I will continue to challenge these assertions because they are false.  I will also continue, in all my interactions with campus leadership to push for what I believe are the interests of the City–as I have done.  I defy you or anyone to show where I have failed in this regard. Beyond vague innuendo, you have nothing.  I am asking you to stop doing this.

    1. Ron

      Robb:

      Thank you for that thoughtful response.  No one is arguing that many of those connected with the university aren’t connected to the city, as well.  It’s might be the other way around – that there are some Davis residents who aren’t connected to the university who are also impacted (but not mentioned in your letter).  I believe that Colin provided some examples.

      Again, I’m wondering if the rest of the council would like to have been involved in the letter.  Were they aware of it, before you sent it?

      This thread started off by some of your supporters attacking Colin, for noting that your letter appeared to have been written by a university official, rather than an official of the city.  (It’s not the first time that the issue has come up, nor is it the first time that some of your supporters reacted emotionally.)  Some of your supporters were simply unwilling to accept that comment, and refused to let it go.

      You and your supporters seem to be confusing an inherent conflict of interest as a personal attack on integrity.  It seems that some don’t understand the meaning of conflict of interest, despite the information I posted.  (Again, I’m not commenting on legality.)

      I have contacted you in the past (outside of the Vanguard), but didn’t receive a response.  Of course, I don’t expect you or other council members to consistently do so, since you no doubt receive a lot of comments.

      Again, no one is attacking your personal credibility regarding the issues discussed in your letter.  However, I’ve found (as a former auditor) that those with an inherent conflict interest often fail to recognize (or even understand) it.  And, your handling of the conflict with the university so far (regarding the LRDP and your work on the subcommittee) does not inspire confidence that you’re consistently putting the interests of the city, first.

      1. Howard P

        Ron… there is no

        … inherent conflict of interest…

        Not legally (in CA for sure), morally, nor ethically… you are not credible on this contention… not one scintilla… particularly given my experience with the current mayor…

        But it is your constitutional right to spew these allegations (until they rise to libel/slander, and you may be approaching that)… for what purpose, is unclear, at best…

        1. Ron

          Howard:

          Don’t know how many times I need to mention this, but conflicts of interests are not always a legal concern.  (I’ve posted information regarding this, already.)  As a former auditor, none of the findings that I recall dealt with law (although they potentially can).  Mostly, they dealt with inadequate policies and procedures.

          My “purpose” is to point out that Colin was correct regarding the mayor’s letter (despite the repeated attacks on Colin), and that there is an underlying concern regarding the mayor’s participation on the LRDP subcommittee, while employed as an intake advisor for the international students department.

          On what basis are you charging me with potential libel/slander?  Are you threatening me?

          [moderator] Since the mayor is engaging you on these comments, I am going to let them stand. But please be aware that I consider this an abuse of your privilege of anonymous posting. Repeatedly asserting conflict of interest, and taking the thread off topic onto your disagreement about housing issues, is not acceptable. As stated in the Vanguard Comment policy changes announced on Dec. 22, if you are given the privilege of an anonymous moniker: “… your posts will be more highly scrutinized especially on personal attacks.” If you have any concerns about this, you can contact me directly at donshor@gmail.com, or contact David. We won’t discuss it here.

      2. Robb Davis

        Just to be clear Ron.  You contacted me in the past to discuss what you consider to be a conflict of interest.  Or, you contacted me with a specific question for which you requested a response and I did not respond?  Or, you contacted me with comments about an issue not requesting a response?  Your response to these questions is important for me.

        There is no conflict of interest here Ron.  I have discussed this at length with the City Attorney.

        If you believe there is a conflict of interest then please contact the City Attorny and proceed to make a formal complaint.  You are making serious allegations.

        Finally, I stand by my work on the LRDP–resolutions and motions and letters.  I helped draft everything that was unanimously passed by our City Council.  Please point out precisely how my actions do not inspire confidence.  Your innuendo is not helpful.  I need to hear specifically where the problem is.

        1. Ron

          Robb:

          As I have repeatedly pointed out, I have no comment regarding the legality of your employment with the university.  But, a lack of a specific law does not mean that there’s a lack of a conflict.  For example, audit findings often deal with policies and procedures (or lack, thereof).  It is often not a legal matter, and I have no reason to contact the city attorney.  (See the post elsewhere on this page, which describes conflicts which aren’t necessarily a legal concern.)

          I have contacted you and the rest of the council regarding the LRDP, among other concerns.  For example, your proposal to approve housing specifically oriented toward students (e.g., “megadorms”), up to 2 miles away from campus.  (In effect, most of the city.)  This seems to correspond with the recent request from acting chancellor Hexter, in his letter to you (see link elsewhere on this page).

          Regarding your work on the LRDP subcommittee, far more was accomplished by the full council in the past month or so, compared to your entire tenure on the subcommittee. (Also, why would you wait until the last minute, to present your findings to the council and city?) Why did it take an “uprising” from citizens for you to finally challenge the university? (I appreciate your willingness to ask about this, however.)

        2. Robb Davis

          The way you are framing the work of the sub-committee is not based on how things actually work.  You have created a narrative that has no relation to reality.

          So, it is clear you have never asked me a question to which I did not respond and, more importantly, you have never written me personally about your concerns over “conflict.” This is important to me because when people write with questions I do my very best to respond. When people write comments/suggestions, I often do not respond.

          [moderator] This will be the final word on this topic on this thread. Thanks.

  10. Ron

    Don:

    Thanks for allowing the comments to veer off-topic.  I think it was helpful, in this case.  (And, I understand that you won’t allow it to proceed any further.)

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