UMass students stuck abroad due to Trump’s travel ban

Two students remain in Iran, and one visiting scholar is in Syria

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – President Donald Trump’s immigration ban is keeping some UMass Amherst students from coming back to campus.

The university told 22News they had urged their international students to return to campus before the inauguration, in case new policies were put into place. Now three members of the UMass community might not be able to make it back to school.

Two students remain in Iran, and one visiting scholar is in Syria. Some on campus sympathize with their fellow students stuck abroad. Matt Hew said, “I would be really, really, really concerned, cause some of these people have lives here. They left their cars at the airport, their dogs are here, and they have jobs.”

UMass Amherst’s International Programs office is working with the students, and exploring their options to return to school. The university said a restraining order issued by two Boston judges could give students a small window to return to campus.

Ed Blaguszewski, the Executive Director of Strategic Communications at UMass, said, “We believe this may provide the opportunity, over the course of the next week, for people to fly to Logan, legally come back into the country if they have the appropriate documents.”

However, some students said the immigration order has raised concerns, even for those already on campus. Robert Williams said, “If that gets expanded, you could see people getting scrutinized across the board. So I think people are terrified, a lot of people are really scared.”

77 Iranian nationals are enrolled at UMass Amherst, as are two graduate students from Syria and one from Sudan. Two UMass Dartmouth faculty were detained at Logan International Airport over the weekend.

UMass President Marty Meehan said the order violated the rights of members of the UMass community.

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