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Oak Leaves

February 17, 2017


Trump's Ban on Travel: How does it affect 'US'?


Maddie Jo Shultz

On January 27, 2017, President Trump released an executive order temporarily banning travel to the United States from seven Muslim-majority countries:  three in Africa and four in the Middle East. Section 1 of the executive order explains that the ban’s purpose is to prevent another attack like 9/11 and to stop would-be terrorists from entering the country. The order bans travel from countries whose Muslim population is not necessarily radicalized—a fact that has not only sparked controversy in the world of politics, but has struck up many heated conversations among college students.
 
For most of the student population on campus, the ban is more of a topic for discussion than a personal dilemma. Opinions vary among students, though Trump’s initial insistence on a “Muslim ban,” which evolved into a travel ban specifically targeting Muslim-majority countries, has been deemed discriminatory by some who have discussed the issue.
 
A sophomore business major commented that this travel ban will not necessarily prevent terrorists from entering the United States, especially considering the fact that travelers from 38 countries in the European Union do not require visas to come into this country. Alternatively, a first-year Political Science student says that the travel ban should help to prevent those with terrorist ties from entering the country; however, he notes that Mr. Trump should hold true to his word when he says that the issuance of new visas for travelers should take no more than 90 days.

The Dept. of Homeland Security reports that nearly 24,000 men and women from the seven banned countries hold student visas in the United States. At Manchester, the ban has an indirect effect on some students’ decisions to further their education in America. Directly, the university is not impacted by the ban in any immediate way; however, MU President Dave McFadden explains that international students no longer want to enter a hostile climate. The university does have a prospective student coming from Iraq, and the ban will not affect this individual’s journey. He notes that Manchester will continue to welcome diversity and will recruit students and hire faculty from all over the world.

As an institution and from an administrative standpoint, Manchester University has not issued an official statement in response to the ban. McFadden encourages differences of opinion on the matter, and he attributes much of the cultural conflict to a stereotype driven by the current set of political issues. “My biggest concern is that this has a chilling effect on the campus climate,” he says. “It drives us to focus negatively on differences between people instead of finding the things that connect us. How does this conversation lead our students to knowing what they are passionate about?”

President McFadden wants to remind everyone that Manchester University is an inclusive institution that welcomes and invites people from a wide variety of backgrounds, regardless of homeland and faith.