Travel Ban Impacting Academics

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President Trump’s travel ban is drawing criticism from several colleges and universities throughout the U.S. due to some professors and students being detained or stranded abroad.

The Association of American Universities, which includes 62 leading research universities in the U.S. and Canada, issued a press release on Saturday calling for a quick end to the executive order that is barring returning students and faculty, stating that the order is disrupting research and education.

The travel ban, which blocks immigrants from seven Middle Eastern countries from entering the U.S., has left some students and other university affiliates stranded or tangled in legal red tape, despite a hold on the ban ordered by federal judges.

Ali Abdi, a doctoral student from Iran at Yale University who left the U.S. a few days prior to the ban to conduct research in Afghanistan, told the Associated Press he doesn’t know now if he will be able to return.

“I cannot go to Iran, my home country, because I’ve been a human rights activist over the past 10 years and I might face some sort of persecution. I’m in a situation where I am neither welcome by the Iranian government or the American government.”

The Associated Press noted that, according to data from the State Department and the Institute of International Education, more than 17,000 students who attended American colleges last year are from countries affected by the ban, and more than 12,000 of those are from Iran.

In its press release, the AAU urged the Trump Administration to “make clear to the world that the United States continues to welcome the most talented individuals from all countries to study, teach, and carry out research and scholarship at our universities,” warning that such a ban may deflect top scholars to countries in competition with the U.S.

“Other countries have set the goal of surpassing the United States as the global leader in higher education, research, and innovation. Allowing them to replace this country as the prime destination for the most talented students and researchers would cause irreparable damage, and help them to achieve their goal of global leadership.”

By Stephanie Pena
Twitter: @StephaniePena47
Facebook: ImageStudio47Inked


Association of American Universities. (2017, January 28). AAU urges quick end to administration order barring returning students and faculty. Retrieved January 29, 2017, from Association of American Universities,

Binkley, C. (2017, January 29). With students stranded abroad, colleges condemn travel ban. Retrieved January 30, 2017, from Associated Press,

Stephanie Pena graduated from the University of Houston in 2015 with a double-major in Communications and Psychology. Major coursework included: Communication Law and Ethics, Public Relations, Writing for Print and Digital Media, Social Impact of New Information Technology, Psychology and Law, Psychological Statistics, and Social Psychology. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Marketing Communications at West Virginia University.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of MBFC News.

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