USF World explains travel ban to international students

By Maria Ranoni, Correspondent
On July 6, 2017

USF has 4,726 international students. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Concern over the recently reinstated travel ban led to USF World releasing a statement to international students about how it could impact them. 

Amid much contention, the Supreme Court allowed portions of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to become effective this past week. The travel ban will last 90 days and will bar the entry of people coming from Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Yemen and Somalia who do not have a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the U.S. 

“According to the Supreme Court, examples of bona fide relationships include students admitted to a United States college or university; those with a close family relationship with an individual in the United States; those who have accepted offers of employment in the United States; and those invited to give a lecture in the United States,” the letter stated.

During this 90-day period, U.S. travel officials will be revising the current screening procedures and will be determining how to improve them to stop any threats. 

According to Glen Besterfield, assistant vice president of International Admissions and Global Partnerships, this letter was necessary.

“Misinformation can easily spread, and the fact that students are excluded is missed,” he said.

Besterfield believes this court decision “may set a precedent to exclude students from future immigration discussions and executive orders.”

In the past six months, Besterfield said USF World has communicated with international students to ease potential fears about traveling to the U.S. in the current political climate. USF has 4,726 international students, according to its 2016-17 fact report. 

Even though the ban should not affect students’ travel, it leaves people to wonder if a policy such as this will discourage international students from venturing to the U.S for education in the future. 

According to the New York Times, nearly 40 percent of colleges reported an overall decline in the number of international students since November. The biggest decline is in applicants from the Middle East.

While Besterfield isn’t concerned about a large impact on the USF community, USF World continues to reassure students that they don’t need to worry.

“The most important thing that USF World is trying to convey to the university community of faculty, staff and students is that we are a global community of scholars and we value the diversity that our international students and scholars bring to the academy,” Besterfield said.

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