“Banned” Students, You Are Not Alone.

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Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia. USF students and faculty from these countries now live in an America that feels less safe than before Trump’s executive order on Jan. 27. That is because these Dons’ countries of origin were included on a executive order temporarily banning them from entering the United States. Trump’s executive order temporarily halts the US refugee program and restricts citizens from the aforementioned countries from visiting the United States for 90 days.

The Foghorn strongly condemns this ban because it directly conflicts with our values as students of the University of San Francisco and as American citizens.

 

The Trump administration is marketing the ban as a defense strategy, intended to prevent legitimately undesirable foreigners (namely terrorists) from entering the country, ensuring domestic safety. The restriction does none of those things. Instead, it plays into a narrative that America is filled with anti-Muslim sentiment, a fact that will likely fuel extremists both home and abroad. If anything, this makes America less safe.

 

Further than the ban’s misguided intentions, the ban directly contradicts American values of opportunity and liberty. We cannot abandon those earnestly seeking a better life in our country. As summed up famously by Emma Lazarus in the poem inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty:

 

“Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me…”

 

The Foghorn stands behind these hallowed words, just as we stand behind oppressed people everywhere that take comfort in them.

 

As the student newspaper of the University of San Francisco, we condemn any laws or sentiment that makes any of our fellow students feel like they don’t belong at our university or in our country. USF prides itself on Jesuit values that emphasize a “diversity of perspectives, experiences and traditions.” International students–from all countries–expand the diversity of our community and contribute to our future success.

 

Currently, this executive order is in legal limbo. Just a day after the ruling, multiple lawsuits were filed by the ACLU and various state attorney generals across the country. It only took a week for a court ruling to temporarily block the order, allowing previously restricted, properly documented passengers to board planes to the US. Enforcement of the ban is still unfolding. The San Francisco-based 9th circuit will start hearing oral arguments on Tuesday Jan 7.

To those affected by the travel ban, please remember that America is still with you. There are many Americans who want you in this country, who understand that you pose no threat to our safety and who realize that to say otherwise is misleading. Leaders of of your own university, like Provost Donald Heller and President Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald S.J., have voiced their contempt towards the executive order. In cities across the country, including San Francisco, citizens have used their first amendment rights to protest loudly on your behalf.

 

To students affected by Trump’s travel ban: In the words of our Provost, “[You] are not alone.” The Foghorn stands with you and those working to resist any xenophobic immigration policy.

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