Portland State University (PSU) has three things to say about the Supreme Court’s decision on United States President Donald Trump’s travel ban: Disappointing. Unclear. Discouraging.
PSU president Wim Wiewel called the ruling “disappointing” in a statement earlier last week, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). While it will not have an impact on its current crop of students, allowing a limited form of Trump’s ban to be implemented until the court hears the case again in October, it is causing chills among prospective students overseas.
“So there could be a ripple effect on international students wanting to study at PSU and American universities in general.” – Wiewel.
The country’s highest court had ruled they will review the legal basis for the ban on travellers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. In the meantime, parts of the ban can be implemented, to the effect the Trump administration can block people from the six Muslim-majority countries if they cannot prove a “bona fide relationship” in the US.
Iran has strongly criticised the ruling, calling it the “greatest gift” for militant groups seeking new recruits, Reuters reports.
“We always believed the Muslim ban President Trump imposed soon after assuming office had no basis in facts and would not help fight terrorism,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a joint news conference in Berlin with his German counterpart last Tuesday.
Javad also tweeted: “A bigoted ban on Muslims will not keep US safer. Instead of policies empowering extremists, US should join the real fight against them.”
PSU students stand to be the biggest loser from this cross-fire between Iran and US.
While PSU vice-provost for international affairs Margaret Everett confirmed current and incoming students from affected nations will not be affected by the revised travel ban, there are concerns it will cause significant hardship thanks to the legal uncertainty and expected increased hardship to obtain study visas to the US.
"One of the most diverse, international places in Oregon is Portland State University. And that means students… https://t.co/acCAzHUsSx
— PDX SSW Engage (@pdxsswengage) February 4, 2017
PSU advises its students to secure their visas as soon as they can, noting the visa process is now slower than before. The school is also worried this will push away interested applicants from abroad.
“Of course, pursuing visas from those countries can be a challenging, long, expensive process, so I would expect students would be potentially discouraged, if it’s not clear what the outcome of that process might be,” Everett said.