Khaled Almilaji has been stranded in Turkey since January. His wife, pregnant with their first child, is waiting at their home in Rhode Island. His classes at Brown University’s School of Public Health are well into the second semester. Ever since his student visa was revoked he has been trying to keep up, somehow, from across the ocean.
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Two federal judges last week blocked President Donald Trump’s new executive order temporarily banning entry into the United States from six Muslim countries – Iran, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Syria – which was due to begin after midnight on Thursday.
Leigh-Ellen Keating, who directs international services for Brock University, in Ontario, just attended a student recruiting fair in Mexico. “The table was flooded with people, which is not historically what I have seen with the Mexican market,” she said. “They just want to go to Canada, and historically I think a lot of them would go to the States.”
Opening America’s arms to immigrant populations and political refugees affirms it national ideals and compassion. That tolerance has also been instrumental in the ascent of the country’s university system to international preeminence. But while America is often spoken of as a “nation of immigrants,” it has not always welcomed immigrant groups with open arms or accepted them as “true” citizens during perceived perilous times.
Trump administration policies toward refugees and immigrants, as well as a recent racially-charged shooting in Kansas, have some international students thinking twice about enrolling in American colleges and universities.
Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups are advising undocumented immigrants not to enroll in a federal deferred-action program created by President Barack Obama over fears that the Trump administration will use their personal information to detain and deport them.
President Trump’s sympathetic remarks about the young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers — “these incredible kids,” he has called them — were a surprising turn for a man who had vowed during the campaign to “immediately terminate” their protections from deportation.
Today, the number of Mexicans crossing the border illegally has dropped to a 40-year low, and there are almost certainly more Mexican immigrants leaving the United States than arriving. A majority of the immigrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are now Central Americans, and the U.S. and Mexican governments have been working closely to find ways to limit this flow and keep people from making the dangerous journey north.
A sense of urgency tempered by a call for pragmatism permeated discussions last week at an annual conference in Washington as international educators considered how best to respond to the politics of uncertainty under a Donald Trump presidency.
US spending on overseas aid is expected to bear the brunt of dramatic cuts as part of Donald Trump’s plan to increase defence spending by $54bn in his upcoming budget.