By Shelby Brown–
Interim Provost Dale Billingsley sent out an email Jan. 31 addressing students who may be concerned about President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
“Our international students and employees, including those from the countries targeted in this executive order, are valuable members of the U of L community,” Billingsley said in his statement. “We treasure the unique experiences and talents that each student or employee brings to our family.”
Trump’s ban prevents citizens of the Muslim-majority countries Iraq, Syria, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen from entering the U.S. for the next 90 days. The ban also bars refugees’ admittance for 120 days.
“To those students, faculty and staff who may be affected by this ban, we want to stress that we support you and will continue to do so regardless of the political and legal debates going on beyond our campus,” Billingsley said, citing U of L’s diversity mission statement.
Protests began at several U.S. airports after Trump signed the order. On Jan. 28, U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly granted an emergency stay to people who already landed or were in the air with valid visas as Trump’s order went into effect.
Last night, thousands gathered around the Muhammad Ali Center to participate in a rally organized by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer.
“As we work through this situation, we advise all our students, faculty and staff not to travel to the seven countries under the ban,” Billingsley said.
On Feb. 2, U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts issued an order that will temporarily halt the Trump administration from making more immigration restrictions by executive order.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced Feb. 1 that the ban would no longer pertain to green card holders or legal permanent residents. Special waivers will not be needed for those individuals to re-enter the U.S.
“We have over 900 international students and scholars at U of L,” Vice Provost for Diversity and International Affairs Mordean Taylor-Archer said. “We have been contacted by some of the students from countries listed in the executive order.”
Most recently, Senior Judge of the U.S. District Court James Robart has issued a nationwide stop on the travel ban. saying it was unconstitutional.
In a series of tweets yesterday, Spicer said the Department of Justice intends to defend the executive order.
“The university will comply with the law, but we will not voluntarily give the names of our international or immigrant students to agencies external to the university,” Taylor-Archer said.
Questions can be directed to the Office of International Student and Scholar Services at 502-852-6604. Counselors are also going to be available for those affected by current events Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information can be found on U of L’s website or by calling 502-852-6585.
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal