Mahony speaks out on Trump’s order

For The Johnsonian

On Friday, President Trump delivered on one of his campaign pledges by signing an executive order temporarily banning around 218 million people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States and suspending the U.S. refugee program for four months.

The controversial executive order currently bars citizens from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen from entering the United States. The executive order also leaves room for more countries to be added to the list of banned travelers by directing the secretary of Homeland Security to conduct a review to determine what countries don’t provide “adequate information” to issue visas allowing entrance to the United States.

Students at universities around the country have been affected by the executive order. One Iranian PhD student at Columbia University, Mohammadreza Bolandnazar, has contemplated dropping out of his program because his wife is barred from returning to the United States from a trip to Iran according to the Washington Post, and others have been barred from returning to the country from winter break trips.

“I will return to Iran. I will quit my program. I don’t care anymore,” Bolandnazar told the Washington Post. “My priority is my family. My wife and my parents. At the very end is my education.”

The executive order emulates one of the campaign pledges Trump made during the primary elections when he called for a “complete and total shutdown” of the nation’s borders to Muslims. The president has issued a statement arguing that the executive order “is not a Muslim ban.”

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer pointed to the Obama administration’s actions that limited visa waiver travel from the seven countries included in the executive order but the Trump executive order is much broader and bans all citizens from those countries from entering the U.S.

Universities across the country including Yale, Princeton, New York University and Northwestern University have issued statements in regards to the executive order according to a USA TODAY College roundup.

Winthrop University President, Doctor Mahony also released a statement to the campus regarding Trump’s executive order.

“On Friday, President Trump issued an executive order banning individuals from seven Muslim majority countries (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen) from entering the United States.The order also suspends for 120 days the refugee resettlement program,” Mahony said in the statement. “The effects of the order remain unclear, and we are working to ascertain the extent to which students, faculty, and staff may be impacted by it.”

Leigh Poole, director of the International Center at Winthrop University said there are currently no students at Winthrop from the countries whose citizens are banned by the executive order.

In his statement to the campus, Mahony urged students concerned about their status or travel options to reach out to the International Center for assistance and stated that, “this moment demands we re-affirm our commitment to our entire Winthrop Family.”

The executive order places universities who recruit and host international students in a peculiar position and have prompted them to restate their commitments to global diversity and inclusion on their campuses.

“At Winthrop we derive our strength from our unity of purpose: to provide our students, faculty and staff– regardless of their religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender or sexual orientation – with the opportunity to live, learn and work together in a supportive environment that cultivates excellence,” Mahony stated.