By Christian Manoukian
A joint statement signed by the California State University leadership and all the presidents within the 23-school CSU system Thursday was issued to all faculty, staff and students in the CSU system in response to Donald Trump’s much-discussed travel and immigration ban.
The signees aggressively affirmed that the CSU system is one that is absolutely committed to being an “inclusive and welcoming institution of higher education” and that “we are deeply troubled by President Trump’s executive order that stands in stark contrast to the fundamental tenets of the Cal State University.”
CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White reiterated that he and everyone who signed the statement fundamentally “oppose the divisiveness” of Trump’s executive order. He went on to say that they will continue to take proactive measures in requesting that the president reconsider the implications his policy has for so many.
Trump’s ban, one of the first notable actions of his infant presidency, has been by far the most discussed of all the executive orders he signed in the first week of his presidency. Wide in scope and far-reaching in implication, the ban targeted many who were traveling to the United States, from refugees and valid visa holders to green card holders and non-U.S. dual citizens.
There are multiple parts to Trump’s immigration package. The first was to freeze the United States refugee admissions system for 120 days, while the Trump administration figures out the best way to vet those entering its borders.
The second part shuttered the Syrian refugee admission program indefinitely.
The third, and most widely-reported part, was a travel ban placed on anyone entering the United States who belonged to any one of the seven Muslim-majority countries the government identified as posing a threat to national security. The countries banned are Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.
According to Elizabeth Chapin, manager of Public Affairs at the CSU Office of the Chancellor, there are currently 259 students within the CSU system that are from the seven banned countries, but none were impacted by the executive order.
“At this time, we are not aware of any students who were detained in U.S. airports,” said Chapin.
Contradictory directives came as government agencies struggled to interpret and implement the Trump administration’s travel ban ” a broad and ambiguous order that is already facing legal challenges in several federal courts across the country. Because of this, chaos and confusion reigned nationwide.
White, in his 2017 State of the CSU address, touched indirectly on the ban in his opening remarks, speaking passionately about unity in the school system rather than letting someone or something divide it.
“Throughout history, regardless of the moment or one’s ideology, there are always forces that tug at society’s fabric and threaten to pull it apart,” said White. “These forces may be social, economic, political or environmental. And if we were to allow these forces to divide us, the result can be deadly” either in a figurative or literal sense,” he added.
The ban fired up grassroots protests nationwide, and students at Cal Poly Pomona were eager to get involved and show their solidarity with those groups most affected by the ban.
“I feel so strongly that no one should be wrongly discriminated against, for absolutely no reason other than what country they come from or what religion they practice,” said third-year political science student Megan Warhurst.
Political science professor Pinar Tremblay, who is from Turkey, called the ban a “haphazard decision” that was drafted without any consultation or communication with government bureaucrats.
“I am all for tightening the vetting program, measures to minimize illegal entry, as well as required measures to control refugee entries. However, to halt the asylum process”in such a way, I fear is against our values,” she added.
Fourth-year liberal studies student Zaina Kholaki had strong words regarding Trump’s executive orders.
“Trump’s Muslim ban can possibly restrict students with citizenship in these countries from furthering their education, but also leave them confused and anxious about where they stand in American politics in the years to come,” she said. “I fear for what could happen under the presidency of Donald Trump with his racist and bigoted ideologies, and I stand with all affected students, faculty and staff in fighting him on it.”
Courtesy of Craig Sheldon
Thousands of individuals gathered at airports across the nation to protest President Trump’s recent executive orders on immigration
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