A-State responds to travel ban - The Herald: #Life

A-State responds to travel ban

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Posted: Monday, January 30, 2017 10:52 am

Arkansas State University officials released a statement Monday morning addressing the Executive Order 13769 signed by President Trump on Friday.

In an email dispensed to all A-State students and faculty, Interim Chancellor Doug Whitlock stated that the university would be offering any “appropriate assistance” to the three students and two faculty members from the nations outlined in the executive order.

“University officials are reaching out to these individuals to offer any appropriate assistance and to ensure that they are fully aware of the potential risks posed to them by these international travel restrictions,” Whitlock wrote. “The university values the significant contributions of all members of our international community and is committed to their well-being.”

Shortly after the university released their statement, state Representative Brandt Smith of Jonesboro announced the proposal of a bill to prevent Arkansas colleges and universities from becoming sanctuary campuses.

ASU System president Chuck Welch told KASU that the primary nature of the legislation aims to require colleges and universities to comply with all federal laws.

“Arkansas State University will abide by all state and federal laws and appropriately respond to federal officials if necessary as legally required,” Welch said. “We care for each of our students and will provide the best learning environment and educational experience possible for those students consistent with the law.

Under Executive Order 13769, anyone arriving from seven Muslim-majority countries - Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen - will face a 90-day visa suspension. The order brings in a suspension of the US Refugee Admissions Programme for 120 days, and an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees.

All travellers who have nationality or dual nationality of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are not permitted to enter the US for 90 days, or be issued an immigrant or non-immigrant visa.

Trump responded to criticism of the order via Facebook Sunday, stating that the ban was not intended to target Muslims, but to improve national security measures.

"This is not about religion - this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order,” Trump stated. "We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days."

The order sparked protests internationally over the weekend, with some pointing to the restrictions of Muslim-majority countries as a cause for concern.

On campus, a peaceful protest was held Monday in the lobby of the Humanities and Social Sciences building. Crowds fluctuated throughout the day, with volunteers holding signs bearing the hashtag “no ban, no wall.”

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