ACE President: Still creates climate where it is hard to view U.S. as a welcoming place for study and research
President Donald Trump signed a new executive order today outlining his revised immigration travel ban, which aims to address the range of legal issues with the original order signed Jan. 27. That order spurred confusion across the country, including on college and university campuses, and a federal judge in Seattle issued a nationwide temporary restraining order Feb. 3 effectively blocking it.
Among the differences between the old and new order:
- The new travel ban takes effect in 10 days rather than immediately, an effort to cut down on the chaos at airports in the United States and around the world that occurred in January.
- Iraq is excluded from the list of countries impacted. The new order bars nationals of six Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
- Nationals of those six countries with legal permanent residence in the United States are not affected, as they were under the old travel ban.
- The indefinite ban on Syrians is lifted: They will now be subject to the same 90-day ban on travelers and 120 days for refugees.
- The new ban has no preference for “religious minorities,” such as Christians claiming persecution in mostly Muslim nations.
A Q&A posted on the Department of Homeland Security website addresses the issue of international students on F, J or M student visas, saying that new executive order does not apply to those with valid visas and that they are free to travel to and from the United States as long as their visas remain valid.
In a statement, ACE President Molly Corbett Broad welcomed the administration’s effort to clarify the first executive order, calling it a “step in the right direction.”
However, she also said that “while the revised order has narrowed the number of people impacted by the travel ban, we fear that those still excluded—coupled with the faulty initial roll-out and the harsh rhetoric that often accompanies today’s public policy discussions about immigration—still creates a climate where it is far more difficult for international students and scholars to view this country as a welcoming place for study and research.”
More than 600 college and university presidents sent a letter last month to Secretary of Homeland Security John F. Kelly, expressing concern about the first executive order. The letter was among a wide range of critiques of the first travel ban, including one from ACE and 50 other higher education groups.