ST. LOUIS (KMOX/AP) – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and local universities are reacting to President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries. Slay called the action “un-American.”

The Democratic mayor took to Twitter Sunday to express his concerns. He wrote, “Government sanctioned religious persecution is un-American and contrary to the values of our community.”

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In another tweet, Slay noted that two-thirds of Syrian refugees in St. Louis are under 8 years of age, and that the city has grown “stronger and more diverse by welcoming immigrants.”

Washington University in St. Louis Chancellor, Dr. Mark Wrighton, says not only do they have up to 50 students who come from the seven countries included in the ban, but also, two-thirds of Wash U’s faculty are immigrants.

He says he has contacted members of Congress from Missouri and Illinois, asking for their help in getting the executive order withdrawn.

Saint Louis University President, Dr. Fred Pestello, issued a statement that reads in part: “We will take every action within the law to protect all members of our community, including Muslim students and faculty who are here on visas.”

University of Missouri Chancellor, Dr. Hank Foley, released a statement Sunday afternoon saying his school system is committed to fostering a welcoming and inclusive environment.

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