Newly inaugurated President Donald Trump is making some international students at Dixie State University fearful about their time in America and completing their education.
On his official website, Trump said he will “vet applicants to ensure they support America’s values, institutions and people, and temporarily suspend immigration from regions that export terrorism and where safe vetting cannot presently be ensured.”
This statement, among many like it, have students like of Cynthia Ojoko, a junior chemistry major from Lagos, Nigeria, worried for herself and for others. She said she hopes things don’t turn sour, and the racism and violence will not escalate any further.
During his presidential campaign and into the early stages of his presidency, Trump has made it clear that immigration is going to be a point of emphasis during his time in office. For example, he plans on having a wall built to separate America from Mexico.
Francesca Ravanelli, a sophomore finance major from Verona, Italy, said that if Trump cracks down on immigration, she is worried about the difficulty it may cause her to get a work visa.
DSU has become the temporary home to nearly 200 international students, who come to St. George from countries like Nigeria, China, Brazil, Cameroon and Canada, said Everton Araujo, interim director of international student services.
These students make up roughly 2 percent of the total student population, a number the school hopes will grow to 5 percent by the year 2020, Araujo said.
Ojoko said she also believes Trump has used ideas like immigration as a platform to get votes from white people so he could win the presidency. She also said Trump has put fear into the hearts of some students at DSU, as he could possibly crush the dreams for a lot of international students who want to come to America to further their education by cracking down on security and limiting where immigrants come from.
Ojoko said, “A lot of [students] don’t want to go back home for holidays because they are not sure they will be able to come back [because] of Trump.”
Araujo said the International Student Services has sought to reassure these students during this trying time. He said Trump deserves a chance and should be given the benefit of the doubt. Yet, because of uncertainty with how Trump’s presidency will proceed, Araujo said the International Student Services plans to continue to move forward as normal, without a backup plan, as if nothing is going to happen.
“[These] kids are a great addition to the school,” Araujo said. “America [and the community is] getting thousands of doctors, engineers and lawyers. This is all talent that could go away depending on what Trump wants to do.”
By tightening down immigration laws, as Trump said he would, it will not only affect international students during school, but can make it more difficult for after they graduate if they plan to stay here to work.