By Victoria Bauer, Social Media Director

Leah Jones, Features Editor

 

This issue’s International Ratio­nale column brings together the perspectives of both an American and an international student.

We wanted to address the infa­mous “travel ban” that arrived as an executive order from the pen of President Trump. The ban, which was laden with ambiguous language, did not clearly indicate those whom it banned. Even green card hold­ers—who are normally allowed to enter and leave the country as they please—were neglected their safe return home.

In the midst of the ensuing cha­os, some wondered why nation­wide protests erupted in response to Trump’s executive order, where­as President Obama’s apparently similar restriction was relatively well-received. Obama’s restriction, however, did not apply to immi­grants and tourists, and only result­ed in a more complex and detailed screening of refugee-visa candidates and a reduction in the number of vi­sas issued. Additionally, according to USA Today, Obama’s order only applied to one country, Iraq, and was a response to a specific threat.

Trump’s executive order, on the other hand, bans immigrants, tourists, and refugees by pandering to the xenophobic and Islamopho­bic fears of many Americans, de­spite the absence of any reasonable threat.

Many have called Trump’s trav­el restriction unconstitutional, and even the acting attorney general at the time of its release questioned its constitutional legitimacy. Regard­less of its constitutionality, this ex­ecutive order has split families apart and left legally documented perma­nent residents stranded.

Of particular concern is the vagueness of Trump’s order—a shortfall that has affected the University of Missouri–St. Louis community. Many of UMSL’s inter­national students, especially those coming from the seven countries on Trump’s list, are left with doubts and fear. So we wonder, was this what the executive order intended all along?

Whatever its intent, Trump’s ex­ecutive order has mobilized much of the nation, and our UMSL com­munity in particular. School offi­cials have reassured students that they are always welcome and that UMSL is their home; International Scholar & Student Services advisors and Counseling Services have giv­en their undivided attention to the concerns of those affected. Students who are American citizens have asked, “What can we do to help?” Yet, there remains uncertainty over what this ban means for the nation, and what is to come. Do we really think that isolationism and the si­lencing of others’ voices will gener­ate anything but misunderstanding, xenophobia, and animosity? Will these things make us “safer,” as the current administration claims that it will?

Despite our worries, we main­tain hope that the responses of the American people will get the atten­tion of the powerful and impel them to do what is right.