President Trump has recently enacted a ban stopping people from entering the USA if they hold an Iranian, Iraqi, Libyan, Somalian, Sudanese, Syrian or Yemeni passport. This also applies to dual-nationality travellers or those with valid visas. Despite global opposition, Trump has not wavered in his support for the 90-day ban. Prominent universities and academics from all over the world have published statements, both supporting travellers from the predominantly Muslim countries and attacking the ban.
Speaking on behalf of the 97 member universities, Universities Canada stated that they were “deeply concerned” at the idea of holding people from the seven aforementioned countries in limbo at US airports, or stopping them from boarding planes in the first place. They also felt that President Trump’s actions impeded “the values of diversity, inclusion and openness” that create a healthy society, and welcomed students of any nationality to their universities.
In an official statement, the President of the University Of Notre Dame, Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., commented on Trump’s lack of compassion for refugees, and made sure to “respectfully urge the president to rescind this order.”
At the University of Warwick, Oz Hassan said that the bill “has caused great alarm” and “shows Trump’s lack of understanding on a wide range of domestic and foreign policy issues”.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, was more scathing, complaining that the Bill is “an affront to one of the most fundamental human freedoms”, and “endangers the lives of people who have fled conflict”. This is especially poignant as refugees rely on powerful countries such as America as a safe haven.
Professor Anton Muscatelli, the Principal of the University of Glasgow, had specific concern ‘for the safety and well-being’ of one of his veterinary students holidaying in Costa Rica and requiring a connecting flight in the USA, as she travels on an Iranian passport and is therefore unable to return to university in time for the start of the semester.
The world’s progressive thinkers and academics are in agreement that President Trump’s actions are profoundly wrong and inhumane, and universities worldwide are unanimous in their support for travellers from the 7 restricted countries in addition to refugees stopped from entering the USA.
(Image: The Forward)