Wichita State prepares for immigration ban


Wichita State President John Bardo speaks to the audience about the universities strategic plan Tuesday Sept., 17. The plan is a long-term strategy to retain students already attending the university and recruit new ones.

“It’s working out very nicely,” President Donald Trump said Saturday after he signed the latest of executive orders Friday evening. “You see it at the airports.” The particular order was a controversial immigration ban on seven countries.

The order states “I hereby suspend entry into the United States, as immigrants and non-immigrants, of such persons for 90 days from the date of this order.”

The order suspended the entry of refugees for 120 days and blocked entry to the United States for Muslim-majority countries identified as having a history of “training, harboring and exporting terrorists,” according to Kellyanne Conway, senior advisor to the president. The list included Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Refugees who were mid-flight during the signing of the order were detained at U.S. airports.

No immigrant from either of those seven countries has ever perpetrated a terrorist attack in the United States.

Vince Altum, executive director of international education at Wichita State, forewarned university administration about an announcement instructing international students to stay in the United States.

“Although this is not the time of year that students would normally leave the United States, we will be putting out a message on Monday to international students to recommend that they remain in the U.S. until we have some clarity about how the Executive Order is being applied,” Altum wrote in an email Saturday.

Wichita State reported 56 students from Iran, three students from Iraq and three students from Libya in a headcount report from fall 2015. The university also employed one faculty member from Iran in 2014.

Amid the chaos, Ann M. Donnelly, a federal judge in Brooklyn, blocked part of the president’s actions. Her ruling prevented the government from deporting some arrivals. Donnelly, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, ruled that authorities could not remove individuals who had arrived in U.S. airports with valid visas, stating that the removal violates their rights to due process guaranteed by the Constitution.

The White House maintained the ruling on Sunday saying, “It is the right and duty of the President to do everything in his legal and constitutional power to protect the American people.”

The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, of which Wichita State is a member, announced concerns about the executive order in a press release Saturday night.

“As a public research university association we are keenly aware of the impact this is already having on college campuses … The most recent figures show that more than 17,000 students from the seven countries that this ban targets studied at U.S. universities during the 2015-16 school year,” the release said.

“With appropriate and effective vetting, international students from all counties and of all regions have long been a core part of our campus communities and that should continue uninterrupted.”