Tulane international students and faculty concerned about travel ban

Tulane international students and faculty concerned about travel ban

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld a travel ban by President Trump from seven countries and local students are feeling the effects.

Twenty-five Tulane students and faculty, mostly from Iran, are unsure about their future.

"It's definitely caused stress, and I know one student in particular who has had some mental health issues because of the stress of the travel ban," Office of International Students and Scholars Director, Kristy Magner said.

"It creates a high level of uncertainty. We always tell people that there's no guarantee when you leave the United States that you'll be able to re-enter," Tulane Immigration Attorney, Marco Balducci said.

He said as of now, the regulations are unclear.

"Unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of guidance right now on how this thing is being implemented. So even if someone isn't technically subject to the travel ban, it's unclear whether or not they will be subject to increased vetting, or whether or not they'll have other problems just by virtue of their country of origin," Balducci said.

Magner says she's spoken with students this week that are facing challenges.

"If there's an emergency back home, or if they need to apply for a job, or do research for their graduate degree outside of the U.S. it's very risky for them to do that, so it really limits their opportunities academically," Magner said.

She says international students make up about ten percent of Tulane's campuses, but this ban may decrease the number of prospective students.

"There's one student who is hoping to enroll in the Fall, but they can't get their visa," Magner said.

Visa renewal is still possible under the ban but can be tricky.

"USCIS has recently made that more difficult by requiring the time that you're waiting for the extension to happen by requiring that you be in lawful status during the time that you're waiting for your extension to happen," Balducci said.

According to NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, international students contribute almost $40 billion to the U.S. economy.

"They contribute to our economy, to research and innovation, and jobs, but also they allow our U.S. students to really get a global perspective of the world," Magner said.

More than 1400 admission officials from across the country will be at Tulane next week to discuss the impact on international students.

The travel ban, along with the promise of a border wall has been a key part of Trump's "America First" vision that he believes will make the country safer from potential terrorist threats.

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