The Impact of President Trump’s New Immigration Policy on Valencia Students
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One week after taking office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on immigration banning nationals of seven countries from entering the United States for at least 90 days. The order also suspends refugees from entering the country for at least 120 days while indefinitely suspending the Syrian refugee program. In the aftermath of this travel ban, many individuals have been left wondering how they may be impacted, including some Valencia College students.
Valencia College has a total of 1,420 international students, in which 22 of them are either citizens or nationals of the countries that have been affected by this order. These countries include Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
On Thursday, February 2, immigration attorney Nayef Mubarak visited Valencia College’s West Campus and spoke to a crowd consisting of students, faculty, staff and members of the community regarding this immigration enforcement matter. It was here where Mubarak educated and interacted with the audience in regards to immigration law and comparing then President Obama’s executive order on immigration to now President Trump’s and also their stances on deportation.
During his speech, Mubarak explained that those who reside in the United States with a visa or a green card are susceptible to deportation. However, he explained there is a fundamental difference between the two administrations. “Under President Trump, people charged with crimes are now a priority”, whereas “under President Obama, individuals became a priority if convicted of a crime and found guilty,” explains Mubarak.
It has been indicated that none of the 22 Valencia College students have been thus far impacted, but that the college is “advising students to stay in the country for at least three months,” stated Carol Traynor, Director of Public Relations at Valencia College.
However, with it being only a few months shy of graduation for many students, this travel ban could and “may affect parents coming to graduation,” explained Traynor.
Thousands of people throughout the country have rallied together some for and some against the new policies. There have also been terminations of employment and even resignations within the U.S. government, such as with the Department of Justice. Acting Attorney General Sally Yates was fired by President Trump when she refused to support the travel ban by “refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” declared the White House.
It is unknown at this time what the future may hold for those that wish to enter the US from the previously indicated Muslim-majority countries.