University of Texas at Arlington President Vistasp M. Karbhari on Monday urged international students and faculty from the seven countries covered by President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban not to travel outside the United States.
“With the recent White House executive order temporarily banning entry into the U.S. of citizens from several nations, we strongly urge those from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen not to travel outside the United States at this time,” Karbhari said in a message posted Monday on the UTA website.
Karhari urged UTA students and faculty to reach out to the school’s Office of International Education (817-272-2355 or firstname.lastname@example.org) before traveling.
UTA has students and faculty from more than 100 countries.
“As the fifth most diverse college campus in the nation, we treasure the ethnic and cultural richness that makes UTA unique,” Karbhari wrote. “We pride ourselves on the pivotal role we play in the community of Arlington, North Texas, and beyond, through the global impact that our tremendous scholarship, research, and outreach produces.
“It is you, our faculty, staff and students, who make this impact possible, and we cherish each and every one of you. We will continue to monitor this situation as it evolves, and update you with current information as soon as possible.”
Trump signed the order on Friday, saying it’s designed to “keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America.” The result was detention of some 50 travelers at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport and more at other airports in the U.S.
All those detained at DFW had been released by Sunday. The detentions sparked two days of protests at the airport, where some 800 people gathered, many holding signs and chanting “Let them go!”
Other protests were held elsewhere in Texas, including particularly large gatherings in Houston and at the Austin airport.
Both University of Texas at Austin President Greg Fenves and Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young also issued statements regarding the ban Monday. Fenves said UT-Austin has 110 students and faculty from the affected countries while Young said the ban “has understandably ignited concerns within our university community.”
Esther Brimmer, executive director of the National Association of International Educators, called the ban “inconceivable” and said it left many educators stranded overseas.
“Universities and colleges have already begun reporting cases of students and scholars stranded after traveling for reasons including studying abroad, attending conferences, and visiting sick or dying family members,” Brimmer said.
As of fall 2016, UTA had an enrollment of 39,714. International students comprise 12.3 percent of the student population.