Travel ban on immigrants puts spring break on hold


The atrium in Lindenwood’s Evans Commons is lined with flags from around the world. There is a flag for each country represented in the university’s student body.
Photo by Romane Donadini

Lindenwood officials are suggesting that some international students put any spring-break plans abroad on hold due to President Donald Trump’s recent executive order.

The order put a 90-day travel ban on immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia.

But after a Seattle judge blocked the order on Friday and an appeals court judge denied the Department of Justice’s request to restore the ban on Sunday, the order was in legal limbo. As of press time Monday it had not been resolved.

[perfectpullquote align=”right” cite=”Trump’s Executive Order” link=”” color=”#f8de91″ class=”” size=”16″]

Section 1.  Purpose. 

“The visa-issuance process plays a crucial role in detecting individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States. Perhaps in no instance was that more apparent than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, when State Department policy prevented consular officers from properly scrutinizing the visa applications of several of the 19 foreign nationals who went on to murder nearly 3,000 Americans.”


Ryan Guffey, vice president of student development, said that out of the international students that make up 12 percent of Lindenwood undergraduates, three are from Iran.

“Each student has met with the Office of International Students and Scholars and have thoroughly discussed their academic and travel plans between now and graduation,” said Guffey.

Emin Hajiyev, director of international students and scholars, said he is advising students not to travel outside the country over spring break.

He also said he is unsure whether the order will affect efforts to recruit students from outside of the U.S. or if it will have a domino effect with students from countries not included in the executive order.

“Hopefully, in the long run, the international student recruitment overall will not be affected,” Hajiyev said.

According to the National Association for Foreign Student Advisors, in 2016, 1,043,839 international students were in the United States; 24,171 of those students are at universities in Missouri.

This reflects almost a 12 percent increase from the previous year.

“We would like to assure all the students that the Office of International Students and Scholars, and Lindenwood in general, has always welcomed international students from all over the world and we will try our best to remain a global family,” Hajiyev said. “We are observing and analyzing the current events and will issue additional guidance.”