Troy University students, both domestic and international, have expressed concerns in regard to President Trump’s immigration ban.
“I think there are a lot of different emotions going on,” said Shelby Wood, a senior Spanish and social science education double major from Wewahitchka, Florida, and International Student Cultural Organization president.
“Some of them (international students) are scared because when it first hit headlines it was a little vague about what would happen,” Wood said. “A lot of students from the Middle East, and particularly those countries (listed in the ban), were really concerned about their legal status in the country.
“They come to this country with the idea that, ‘I’m going to learn a lot while I’m here and I’m doing everything I’m supposed to do and I’m being a legal visitor in the country.’ And then they come here and they’re like, ‘Wow, the president is seemingly very anti-immigrant and anti-visitor, and where does this leave us?’”
Wood said that the ISCO executives are hoping to conduct a faculty forum with faculty who are from other countries, or faculty who have traveled outside of the U.S. as Americans.
“We want them to talk about how important it is to interact with different cultures and have access to different ideas from different countries,” Wood said.
“The people that are being affected by this right now are not bad people,” Wood said. “They are students who are trying to come here and study.
“They’re our classmates. It’s absurd. It’s un-American.”
Gertrude Kumi, a sophomore psychology major from Ghana, said that she is uncertain about what may happen next.
“It just makes me feel very sad and also not safe even though my country isn’t on the list, because I realize that there really is no way to predict what President Trump’s next move is going to be—I mean, it’s only been less than two weeks,” Kumi said.
“To me, it’s also unfair that such generalizations about people from certain countries are being made, and the people are essentially being discriminated against,” Kumi said. “On the other hand, with all of this going on, I’m glad there are people out there who stand with international students and immigrants.
“It was very comforting to read the email sent to all students from the chancellor.”
Jacob Barber, a senior Spanish and English double major from Alabaster, said that he has serious concerns about the ban.
“I think the ban is cynical, cruel and destructive,” Barber said. “The ban isn’t based in real security concerns; it’s based in xenophobia (fear or hatred of foreigners, people from different cultures or strangers) and Islamophobia.
“We can and should welcome travelers, immigrants and refugees of all faiths and nationalities. If anything, we should be expanding the number of refugees we accept.”