Monday, Jan. 30, the President of Elizabethtown College, Carl J. Strikwerda, sent out a campus-wide email in regards to the immigration ban enacted by President Donald Trump per an executive order on Jan. 27.
The executive order, titled, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry,” mentions the suspension of travel with visas and green cards from seven countries in the Middle East.
The countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen are known to have ties to terrorist groups.
However, the executive order is halting travel from citizens of these Middle East countries to revise the scanning process for new visas and other travel documents.
The old programs will be looked over by the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, by which they will determine the information needed to help find any ties with terroristic groups that may have been overlooked in the past.
With the public responding in various ways, Strikwerda joined many other colleges nationwide in commenting on the executive order.
While reaching out to the Etown community in a campus-wide email, Strikwerda wrote, “We believe that global understanding is one of the foundations of learning for our world.”
“We will comply with all regulations regarding immigration and citizenship while upholding the principles of freedom of religious expression and international exchange,” Strikwerda said.
All questions or concerns regarding an individual situation for students and faculty were directed toward the office of Academic Affairs and the office of Human Resources.
The email followed with a question and answer part, to further explain the situation to students.
The executive order was set for a stated 90 days on visa holders and 120 days for delaying refugees and would have been replaced with newer criteria for detecting terroristic links.
The executive order has prompted a response from all over the United States, most notably from political leaders of all parties and in protests at airports all over the country.
Republican congressional members are speaking out against the order such as Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain, who left a joint statement saying, “It is clear from the confusion at our airports across the nation that President Trump’s executive order was not properly vetted.”
The protests occurred at various airports all across the country, airports being the primary location of entry into the United States and where affected persons were contained as a result of the ban.
In a statement after the executive order was released, President Donald Trump commented, “My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”
Every aspect of the immigration ban has headlined the news, from the initial executive order to the following adjustments that are continuing to be commented on.
In a statement from the White House, the executive order no longer prohibited the traveling of green card holders from the countries listed, but there has been contradicting information on whether or not the executive order applies to green cards as well.
This past weekend, a federal judge from Seattle, Washington, halted the enforcement of this executive order and allowed for visa and green card holders to enter the country for the time being.
The overturning of his executive order brought Trump to issue a series of tweets relating to the judge’s decision.
“The executive order on the travel ban will be an important test for the judicial system and the democracy,” associate professor of political science Dr. Dan Chen said.
“While the process of executing/resisting the ban is contentious, it may also be an opportunity to reflect on the core values of this nation and the proper measures needed to ensure national security,” Chen said.
“The executive order has been suspended due to a court order,” Strikwerda commented over email after the executive order was overturned this past weekend.
Until that suspension is lifted, the order withdrawn, or another administrative, legislative or judicial action replaces it, the College is continuing to monitor the situation carefully.
Strikwerda also commented that the College has no international students from the countries concerned.
If any students plan on traveling to any of the affected countries, they are advised to speak with Student Life for advice.