SoCal Colleges Move To Protect Students And Faculty In Wake Of Trump's Immigration Ban
President Trump's executive order on immigration has left Southern California colleges struggling to parse out how students and faculty will be affected.
The January 27 executive order temporarily banned travel and immigration for all refugees, as well as nationals from seven predominantly Muslim nations (Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, Syria, and Sudan), leaving college administrators scrambling to protect their students and staff affected by the new order.
At CSU Long Beach, 106 students have been affected by the immigration ban, according to Dr. Jeet Joshee, Associate Vice President of International Education for the university. Joshee told LAist that 53 students are visa holders from the seven designated countries and an additional 53 are green card holders from those countries. None of CSULB's faculty is a visa holder affected by the ban.
"No one is out of the country at the moment," Joshee continued. "And we are advising them not to leave the country unless they have to. We are primarily concerned with the visa holders at the moment, because it seems the green card holders are safe, but we advise the affected students to see student advisors if they have to leave the country." Joshee also noted that all 23 of the state's CSU campuses are in communication and are being advised by legal counsel.
A representative for UCLA told LAist that 75 of the university's undergraduate and graduate students are currently affected by the ban.
"We are actively engaged with the UC Office of the President to understand the full implications of the order and to find ways of protecting members of our community," UCLA's Chancellor Gene Block wrote in a statement also released January 29. "The UC Office of the President has advised 'UC community members from these seven countries who hold a visa to enter the United States or who are lawful permanent residents do not travel outside of the United States.' In the meantime, if you are a student, scholar or faculty who have visa issues or questions that deserve our attention, please contact the UCLA Dashew Center for International Students and Scholars…"
A representative from UC Irvine told KPCC that there are 154 students and faculty from the seven countries listed in the immigration order at the university.
Community members at USC and Caltech have also been affected, though we haven't yet heard back from either university about exact numbers. Both schools issued statements over the weekend.
"Our foremost concern is with the members of our community from those countries who are directly affected by this order," Michael Quick, USC's Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, wrote in a statement released on Sunday. "We have reached out and are working with them to provide our support and assistance. ...We are also advising members of our community who may be trying to enter the U.S. to wait until visa and admission restrictions are lifted."
Thomas F. Rosenbaum, president of Caltech, issued a statement on January 27 noting that "This order immediately impacts the personal and professional travel of a subset of students, postdocs, faculty, and staff from abroad and elevates uncertainties for the next few months and likely beyond."
"I write to assure you that Caltech remains fully dedicated to supporting every individual in our community, regardless of country of origin," Rosenbaum continued. "Caltech will honor all financial commitments and help those in need obtain legal advice and other support services. ...On Tuesday, January 31, Ilana Smith, director of the international offices, and Cindy Weinstein, vice provost, will lead a meeting for students, postdocs, faculty and staff from the seven countries cited in the executive order. This session will be held at 4:00 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the Center for Student Services. Another meeting will be scheduled soon thereafter for individuals from other countries."
Global universities rely on global drawing top talent from around the world (both as students and as faculty) to maintain their pedigree and prestige. According to Pacific Standard, the United States currently has about 975,000 international students in its universities. But of those, only about 16,000 are affected by the Trump administration's immigration ban.
According to FiveThirtyEight, American universities hosted 12,269 students from Iran, 1,901 from Iraq, 1,514 from Libya, 783 from Syria, 599 from Yemen, 253 from Sudan, and 35 from Somalia during the 2015 to 2016 school year.