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College Issues Travel Warnings for International Students


BY WILLIAM LUND | Feb. 20, 2017

PHOTO BY YASIR ALHUMAIDAN

Don’t travel without your documentation. This is the latest message sent by Edgewood College in reaction to newly elected President Donald Trump’s immigration policy changes.

Last week in an email sent only to international students, Edgewood College recommended that students with F-1 and J-1 visas bring documentation with them when traveling anywhere within the United States. As well, when traveling abroad students are advised to further research the individual policies regarding the rules of different countries.

F-1 and J-1 are the two forms of visas issued to international students. The differences are things like how each student is funded, which different academic opportunities are available and how they can work in a foreign country. For example, according to the University of California Irvine International center, students during a winter recess holding F-1 status may work full time. Students holding J1 status may also work full time but they will require the permission of their Alternate Responsible Officer.

After reaching out to many students for comment I was only able to get one interview. The student who would like to remain a said the flowing, “As a Saudi student, the executive orders that ban seven countries made me feel uncomfortable.” When asked if it would affect future travel plans they responded, “I was going home this summer to visit my family and renew my student visa. However, I’m very afraid that I go back home and don’t get my visa renewed from the US embassy, especially I only have two semesters left to graduate. I will never want to lose my graduation opportunity for not getting my visa renewed.”

Many people refused to talk on record. People were fearful of being identified because of immigration status or political views. Others feared retaliation, or the possibility of being ostracized. An overall sense of doom lingers around campus, and as the email puts it, there has been a “psychological toll” taken on by our students.

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