USF responds to Trump’s executive orders with letter to affected students

Protesters gathered outside of John F. Kennedy Airport in New York in opposition of President Donal Trump’s immigration order. SPECIAL TO THE ORACLE

Over the weekend, Marcia Taylor, the director of the Office of International Services (OIS), sent out an email to students in response to two executive orders President Donald Trump signed Friday.

“This email is a follow-up on the rapid developments of the last two days to confirm two key changes announced Friday evening by the administration of President Trump,” the email stated. “We recognize that there has been a great deal of information in the media and wish to assist you with some perspective. Even as I write, this is a fluid situation and there is some legal activity that may challenge these executive orders.”

Trump signed an executive order that places an “immediate 90-day ban on entry into the U.S.” for people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. This ban extends to those who hold either an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa. The order doesn’t specify whether it applies to those with dual citizenship.

USF currently has 79 international students enrolled from the seven countries as of August, according to the USF World website.

“Until there is further clarification or guidance, the (OIS) advice that all people who are citizens of, or were born in, one of these countries do not travel abroad without consultation with this office first,” the email said. “There is currently no indication that your visa status is being questioned while you remain in the United States.”

Additionally, Trump signed an order that suspends waivers for the in-person interview that is part of the visa process. Those seeking an initial or renewal nonimmigrant visa are required to have an in-person interview at the U.S. Consulate. Before, individuals could get this waived based on their age, or if it was a renewal visa. Visa-exempt countries such as Canada are not affected.

“If you are traveling outside of the U.S. on USF sanctioned academic activity including trips to Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean … our staff (can) review your immigration status under the current immigration rules, offer re-entry advising, including travel signatures if applicable,” the email said. 

“We can discuss your options with you at this time and ensure you have the latest information available to the OIS.”

Staffs at other universities are responding to these orders as well.  The City College of New York interim president tweeted that any students denied entry could message him or the school’s president for aid. 

UF President W. Kent Fuchs released a statement estimating that about 200 of their students are from the listed countries and encouraged them to not travel outside of the U.S. in the immediate future.

At the time of publication, USF System President Judy Genshaft nor the university have not released an official statement.

“We recognize that these may be disconcerting times for some of you. However, everyone at OIS appreciates and values your contributions as international students and also your unique needs,” the email said. 

“You can be assured we will continue to closely monitor immigration-related developments and keep you informed as new information becomes available. In addition, OIS will also work with our national professional associations and colleagues to advocate for favorable immigration policies that benefit everyone.”