WASHINGTON - Universities around the country have students who are struggling with the new immigration restrictions from President Donald Trump.
George Washington University in Washington D.C. said at least 74 students and scholars in the United States on visas are affected by the order. University President Steve Knapp said this is still an evolving situation and more people affiliated with the school may become impacted and the school is still trying to get all the information they can to see which visas are affected.
The university said at least one student they have heard from was not allowed to board a plane in Iran and they are still trying to get in contact with students to let them know they are here to help. They are also warning students not to go abroad because if they leave, they may not be able to come back.
President Knapp strongly said these students and scholars are not the ones the country should be worrying about.
“We're joining with other universities and trying to advocate for the recognition that the student and the faculty who come here are contributing to our society,” Knapp said. “They are not the ones responsible for the kinds of things that we are trying to prevent. And they have been very extensively vetted, interviewed and fingerprinted. They have gone through this huge process in order to have the visas that have enabled them to be a part of our university community. I would love to see some recognition of that and maybe there could be exemptions that we can achieve.”
Knapp said the executive order has been a traumatic event for many of the students as some don't know if they can come back to school while others are worried about not being able to see family back home potentially for months or years.
The university is providing counseling and legal advice to any of their students and staff dealing with this situation.