Trump Signs Revised Travel Ban
President Trump on Monday issued a new executive order barring nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., The Hill reported. The order, effective March 16, includes a number of changes meant to help it withstand the legal challenges that blocked implementation of the original travel ban.
The new order includes a 90-day ban on the issuance of new visas for citizens of Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. It removes Iraq from the list of barred countries, avoiding a major diplomatic spat with a key partner in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to The Hill. Additionally, the order suspends the the nation's refugee program for 120 days and decreases the number refugees accepted in a year to 50,000, down from the 110,000 cap set by the Obama administration.
The new guidelines outline a more specific national security basis for the order, blocking the issuance of only new visas. The updated order does not apply to lawful permanent residents of the U.S. or to individuals with valid visas, including student and exchange visas.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a Q&A document specifically addressing the subject of F, J, or M student visas. "Individuals holding valid F, M or J visas may continue to travel to the United States on those visas if they are otherwise valid," the agency said. However, the order will mean that universities and university hospitals will be temporarily unable to bring in new postdoctoral scholars, visiting faculty and others from those countries who do not already have visas, which could affect the enrollment of newly admitted students from the six countries, Inside Higher Ed reported.
The Trump administration has justified the order as necessary to prevent the entry of terrorists into the U.S. Higher education leaders spoke out against the earlier version of the order, arguing that it restricted free intellectual exchange and conflicted with core values of higher education, including internationalism and diversity.
Initial responses from the higher education community expressed continued concerns about the new, revised ban and its potential negative effects on education and research.
"The jury is out about whether this executive order will make the country safer, but it will definitely impede the flow of students and scholars to our institutions at a time when we most need these relationships," said AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly.
Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States
Inside Higher Ed