Miami Valley college’s uncertain after travel ban

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Between Wright State and the University of Dayton, close to 100 students, faculty and staff members could be affected by President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

The executive order bans travel to seven predominately Muslim countries.

Wright State has close to 50 students and staff members affected by President Trump’s travel ban.

Following a weekend filled with confusion, Wright State is prepared to assist their students and staff as the executive order becomes more clear.

Wright State President, David Hopkins says “Just like everyone else we are trying to understand the details. We are trying to make sure we are contacting our students, staff and faculty that could be affected by this executive order.”

President Hopkins says his university has students from five of the seven banned countries.

“We are looking carefully at our faculty and we also have families impacted too,” said Hopkins.

Wright State Associate Professor of History and Religion Awad Hallabi says a travel ban of this magnitude is almost unheard of

Dr. Hallabi says, “It’s a little ominous to think about, that the last time most people can think about a travel ban or immigration ban was during the 1930’s. When the U.S. banned mostly Jewish refugees.”

Dr. Hallabi believes the vetting process could be extensive without enacting a complete ban.

“I can’t see why those security precautions can’t be intensified as we continue to welcome and accommodate a very displaced, impoverished population,” said Dr. Hallabi.

Staff members in the International studies department at Wright State are urging their students to stay in town over spring break to avoid any potential conflicts while traveling.

At the University of Dayton, staff members have been hard at work advising their affected staff and students.

UD says they have 45 students, faculty and staff members that come from the affected countries in the executive order.

The school says that no one was detained or affected when the order came down, but now they are now tasked with advising students on future travel and legal services.

Staff members at UD agree with those at Wright State that say there is a lot of uncertainty in the air right now and they can only guess how things will play out from here.

“At this point we are reaching out to students from the affected countries to gather them in person this week to listen to their concerns, to really get more details on what they may be facing in the weeks and months ahead,” says UD Executive Director of International Programs, Amy Anderson.

Anderson says her office will follow the situation closely and make sure her students have what they need moving forward.

 

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