LIU Reacts to Immigration Ban

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By Jada Butler
Assistant News Editor

After President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order on Jan. 27, imposing a 90 day ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim populated countries, students from those respective countries face uncertainty.

Photo by Jada Butler
Photo by Jada Butler

The order, titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States,” puts a hold on entry into this country by citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The ban resulted in detaining foreign citizens with existing student, work, or travel visas in airports as they arrive into the country. At least forty lawsuits have been led against the order. In one of those suits, a federal judge issued a nationwide temporary block of the order on Feb. 3, which is currently on appeal in a federal appeals court.

In a Jan. 31 email statement, issued by University President Kimberly R. Cline, advised students and staff on student and work visas hailing from the seven banned countries to consult an attorney if they are considering leaving the country within the 90 days of the ban. Cline also directed students and faculty in need of assistance to their respective dean of students and human resources department. Cline also included the number to the New York State hotline.

“They care, they care a lot,” Ammar Abdul Rahim, a Sudanese graduate student completing his masters degree in management engineering, said about the university’s handling of the ban. Staff at the international resources office advised Rahim to remain on campus and stay safe. They are also helping him acquire an ID since he misplaced his passport.

“I was planning to go home for summer break, but international [the office of international resources] has told me not to go,” Rahim said.

Since the ban, Rahim received worried messages from his family in Sudan. “My family back home feels so bad; they feel like I am living in danger here, that I am being harassed, but it’s not like that here,” he said. There is support from students,faculty and staff against the ban.

Rahim said that fellow students have expressed their sympathy for him.

“We are not what you think we are. You cannot judge us by religion or region,” Rahim said, a message to President Trump.

Students on other campuses on Long Island are also uniting in support for their international students and faculty from the seven countries. The weekend the executive order was issued, Vahideh Rasekhi, a Stony Brook University student from Iran, was detained for more than 24 hours at John F. Kennedy Airport, according to Newsday.

In the days following Rasekhi’s detainment, Stony Brook held a “Seawolf Solidarity Rally,” at which students and faculty marched on campus with signs and chants against the ban, and were addressed by the Stony Brook University president, who denounced the ban.

Newsday reported that approximately 150 people attended an hour long immigration seminar held by immigration attorneys from Barst, Mukamal & Kleiner, a Manhattan law firm, later that day at Stony Brook.

There have been no reports of any LIU students being directly affected by the ban, neither on the Post nor Brooklyn campuses.

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