A handful Boise State University students from at least some of the seven countries highlighted in Donald Trump’s executive immigration order are outside of the United States and could face jeopardy returning or not be able to complete their study abroad if they face difficulty getting back, university officials said Thursday.
Approximately 40 students from Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, Libya attend Boise State, said Greg Hahn, campus spokesman. He declined to say how many of them are now overseas, or which of the seven countries they are from, based on student privacy.
The 40 students are in the United States as permanent residents, refugees or on student visas, Hahn said.
Boise State is cautioning students and staff from several foreign countries that they could face difficulties re-entering the U.S. if they leave while President Trump’s immigration order is in effect.
“We recommend that students, scholars, faculty and staff who are citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen (including those with dual citizenship) should understand that if they leave the United States, even in an emergency, they will not be able to return for at least the next 90 days, and possibly much longer,” President Bob Kustra said in a campuswide e-mail.
Kustra reasserted the university’s commitment to the “diversity of ideas” on campus. “We will always be a place of respect for others,” Kustra wrote. “We are committed to doing all that we can within the bounds of the law to ardently support Boise State students, faculty and staff.”
Kustra’s letter follows Trump’s Friday executive order temporarily curtailing immigration to the United States for several Middle Eastern and North African countries. Trump’s order resulted in confusion and protests at airports around the county last weekend.
PROFESSOR WON’T TRAVEL
Arvin Farid, an associate engineering professor at Boise State University and an Iranian immigrant, said the executive order is interfering with traveling academics.
Farid came to the U.S. on a student visa in 2001, received his green card in 2008 and was granted citizenship in 2015. He said several immigrant colleagues from the countries affected by the order have called off travel plans due to fear they couldn’t re-enter the country.
Farid said he will likely decline invitations to lecture at universities in China and Japan so that he is not traveling abroad.
“As a U.S. citizen, I shouldn’t worry about it,” he said. “But as a citizen who has been through all of the processes, I know some of these orders implemented with no thought behind them could cause trouble for people.”
Statesman reporter Zach Kyle contributed
Bill Roberts: 208-377-6408, @IDS_BillRobert