Travel Ban Could Affect South Florida College Students

UM, FIU warning students, faculty about traveling abroad

International college students in South Florida are now facing the realization that they may not be able to return home or even visit family in the wake of President Trump's order barring travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

At the University of Miami, President Julio Frenk sent a letter to the university community saying they've identified and contacted members of the community who might be affected by the travel ban.

"At this point, we are urging students, faculty, and staff members who are from these countries to postpone any nonessential travel until there is clarity as to how they will be admitted or re-admitted to the U.S.," Frenk wrote. "We understand that in addition to practical considerations related to the executive order, the current climate of uncertainty generates levels of anxiety among members of our community, and for this reason we are committed to addressing your concerns."

Florida International University officials also advised that members of their community from the countries may want to postpone travel abroad until there is more clarity on how they'll be admitted or re-admitted.

"At FIU, we are committed to helping all of our University community members to be successful, and we value diversity in every form," FIU provost Kenneth Furton said in a memo. "As a community, we must come together to support those among us who may be feeling particularly vulnerable during this uncertain time."

At Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, students from the Middle East said they're not happy about the directions from the White House. One student at FAU said he heard President Trump say these things but they he did not think they would become reality.

"I think a lot of people boast on the campaign trail and make grandiose promises. For a long time I heard my friends on the right say 'look man, these are just words,'" said Ammar Ahmed, with the FAU Muslim Student Association. "Was I surprised? I felt it coming. His rhetoric matches his actions and words are powerful."

Ahmed expressed concern that some classmates could have their visas run out and not be extended for them to continue their class work.

"Students and faculty who are outside, they're stuck, they can't come back here to continue their studies," said FIU student Isra Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim is the co-founder of the group Muslims at FIU. She is a U.S. citizen, but her family is from Sudan, one of the seven countries on the travel ban list.

"As a person from one of these countries, one of the poorest Muslim majority countries, which has been linked to no terrorism on American soil, I think this is just another example of what America does to its people, to foreign nationals, and just a very sad example of unity and being together with other," she said.

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