Saturday, June 22, 2024

Immigration reform worries students

American universities are trying to protect their undocumented college students from President Donald Trump’s recent immigration reforms.

Since the official inauguration of Trump, he has been working to remodel America to what he sees as fit. This includes signing an executive order banning immigrants, refugees or anyone who is seen as a “red flag” from coming into the country for 90 days.

Hundreds of people were given a rough time trying to come into the country and people leaving the country were fearful they would not be able to come back. Many undocumented students who go to American universities are now concerned about their ability to stay in the country.

With Trump banning travel from seven countries, which include Libya, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen and Somalia, many students from those countries don’t know what is going to happen to them next.

A recent study conducted by Project Atlas, a website analyzing international students in higher education, stated that about 1,043,839 international students between the years 2015 and 2016 were enrolled at American universities. International exchange student enrollment has been increasing since 2005 as well.

Plattsburgh State is home to students from more than 75 different countries. When students learned about the new laws coming into place, there was a lot of uproar. Many students did not know if they were able to go home and see their families. The ban did not only affect undocumented students, but also students who are actually legal in this country. Many students are starting to become apprehensive for the future.

“Trump’s reform has not affected me directly but it makes me wonder if my country is next,” Kira Paulemon, an international exchange student majoring in Latin American studies at PSUC said.
Ken Knelly the executive director of marketing and communications at PSUC sent out an email on Jan. 30, saying, “We don’t know all the effects of President Trump’s Executive Order or changes that may be made along the way. We will continue to monitor the situation on our own and look to the State University of New York system for guidance.”

SUNY Plattsburgh is taking precautionary measures to protect their students to the best of its abilities. PSUC has been keeping up with the latest news and separating the facts from rumors to give students clarity. The Vice President for Human Affairs Bryan Hartman sent out an email about an open forum hosted by the Division of Student Affairs made for students, faculty, staff and members of the community to express their concerns and opinions.

Amelia Lushia, the assistant director of the Global Education Office, spoke about what PSUC is doing to help our international students.
“A way we could support students is, for one, listening, provide resources as much as we can and understanding, and (give) support for whatever those needs are,” Lushia said.
On Feb. 3, a federal district judge granted a temporary detainment on the ban. This order prohibited the Federal Government from executing part of the 90-day ban. This means that immigrants and nonimmigrants can enter the country again.

For students, it is time to take action. There is a petition going around to make all SUNY locations become sanctuary campuses. So far, no SUNY schools have officially become sanctuary schools. That decision is not made by the presidents of the individual SUNY schools, but by the SUNY Board of Trustees.

“We, undersigned members of the SUNY community, urge you to take action to ensure our campuses are safe and supportive for students, faculty, staff, alumni and their families of different races, religious backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, abilities, and immigration statuses,” stated Chancellor Zimpher.

Email Breyana Anderson at

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