- A new travel ban issued by the Trump Administration continues to disallow entry into the United States from six Muslim countries, but contains exemptions that some advocates say slightly improves flexibility for colleges with international students and scholars.
- Constituents from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen with existing student or residential visas can now enter the country, but some officials say the ban still complicates or outright blocks access for new enrollees or professors for at least three months.
- Opponents of the policy cite the more than 17,000 international students and faculty members who learned and worked at American colleges in 2015-16, who would have been cut off even in the revised version of the executive order, which removes Iraq as one of the prohibited countries.
There is no easy remedy for colleges and universities to address the new executive order which reestablishes many of the same restrictions as the first version of the ban. States like Hawaii have pledged to sue the administration over the new language, and perhaps lobbying efforts should be the primary tool for campuses which could be significantly impacted by the order.
If lawmakers and the general public held a more comprehensive view of the money generated and spent by international students and faculty in the U.S. thanks to college attendance, perhaps the immigration restrictions would be easier to argue on and off campus. This approach is also valuable in helping to manage conversation and mixed feelings about the order in student and classroom discussion, which colleges may also want to consider as a factor in the ban’s potential effects.