Push back from IU, Bloomington on immigration executive order

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind.– Protesters across the country made their voices heard Sunday after President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration.

Dozens took to the Indianapolis International Airport and the Monroe County Courthouse to show their dissent, with signs and chants demanding the president repeal the ban.

Associate physics professor at Indiana University, Babak Seradjeh, 39, decided to cancel his research travel plans in Iran for fear of not being allowed back in the United States.

“As far as I understand, being a permanent resident of the U.S. gives you basically full rights to be here,” Seradjeh is a full legal resident on a green card with dual citizenship in Iran and Canada.

He has been living and working in the U.S. for better part of nine years.

But on Saturday, Seradjeh was supposed to leave the country to go to Tel Aviv with his research partner. He made it all the way to Newark International Airport but decided not to board the plane in the wake of the president’s executive order.

“When I left Iran, I left–obvious reasons were to go abroad fro studies–but really one of the main reasons was to be free,” Seradjeh explained, “I was not hopeful to have what I thought would be a decent free, a decent life and freedom and be able to live the life that I wanted.”

The ban puts an indefinite halt on Seradjeh’s research plans, which were in part funded by the National Science Foundation.

“My situation in a sense is maybe not that bad. Because I have my home here. My friends and family are here,” Seradjeh added.

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie issued a statement explaining that the University will continue to embrace an openness to the world:

“The executive order issued on Friday that bars citizens and refugees from certain countries from entering the U.S. is contrary to the very core of our values as an institution committed to excellence and innovation, a diversity of community and ideas, respect for the dignity of others and engagement in the economic, civic, cultural and social development of our state, our nation and our world.”

McRobbie goes on to say that the executive order will have a “considerable” impact on IU’s international students and scholars.

In response, the university advised all international students and staff to allow even more time for visa processing. The school is also recommending that students and scholars who are citizens of the seven countries specifically named in the order stay in the U.S. until the ban is lifted.

IU’s Office of International Services is offering counseling to students on immigration-related issues. They’ll host two information sessions on Tuesday and Thursday this week to give guidance to any students or staff with questions and concerns.

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