University of Georgia officials have promised “unwavering commitment to our international students and faculty” after President Trump issued a second travel ban blocking citizens of six countries from entering the United States.
The ban, issued in an executive order Monday, placed a 90-day travel ban on travelers from Syria, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Sudan and Iran. The new order, effective March 16, replaces a similar executive order Trump signed in January, but which had been blocked by federal courts.
The new order removes Iraq from the list of countries affected by the ban. It also exempts from the ban people who already have visas to enter the United States or who are legally permanent U.S. residents.
The new ban also faces challenges in court, and like the first ban is seen by some as Trump making good on his campaign call for banning Muslims from entering the United States.
Under terms of the order, citizens of the six predominantly Muslim countries can’t get visas for at least 90 days, and the admission of refugees will be halted for 120 days.
Students and workers at UGA and other schools had worried about how the earlier ban would affect their family and professional travel in the future. Some students and faculty at other universities were actually trapped in airports temporarily, though UGA officials reported no such incidents for the university’s students or workers.
UGA has relatively few students from the affected countries.
A little more than 7 percent of UGA’s 36,574 students were from outside the United States, according to the UGA Fact Book -- 2,718 students from 124 countries.
A much smaller number of UGA students were from the affected countries -- one from Sudan, one from Somalia, one from Syria, none from Yemen or Libya, and 63 from Iran. The Fact Book listed Iraq as having one student here in the fall of 2016.
UGA’s commitment promise, posted on a UGA listserv, was included with a statement on the ban from University System of Georgia Chancellor Steve Wrigley.
“The University System of Georgia greatly values the contributions of our international students, faculty and staff. International education, research and collaboration enrich our academic culture, benefitting students, faculty and staff throughout our 28 institutions across our University System,” Wrigley wrote.
Wrigley’s statement didn’t promise any specific actions, but said it will help with information if students or faculty seek more information.
“Those who hold current visas, including our students and faculty using visas to study and teach here, are not impacted and their visas remain valid under the new order,” Wrigley wrote.
“Our System Office will continue to coordinate closely with your international education officers, who together stand ready to assist any members of our campus communities seeking information,” Wrigley wrote.