Trump’s new travel ban will affect more than 100 UC Berkeley students, faculty

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At least 90 campus students and their dependents, along with approximately 20 faculty and staff members, will be affected by the Trump administration’s latest travel restrictions, according to Ivor Emmanuel, director of the UC Berkeley International Office.

The White House declared the enhancement of “vetting capabilities” Sunday, restricting the issuing of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. The ban will take effect Oct. 18.

Emmanuel described the impact of the order on the campus as “rather complex” because of the different provisions for each country included in the travel ban. Iranian students on F1, J1 and M1 visas, for example, are exempted from the order but may be subject to additional screening. Emmanuel noted that the campus’s current priority is “communicating directly” with impacted individuals and campus staff members who work with these individuals in order to provide them with the necessary details to make informed travel plans.

Mahira Aly, president of the campus’s International Students Association, noted in an email that such executive orders create a “very worrisome atmosphere” among the international student community at UC Berkeley.

“These executive orders are being released very spontaneously and the scare that we might wake up one morning to discover we wouldn’t be allowed to come back to the United States after going home for the holidays, for example, is very real,” Aly said in her email.

Trump’s two former travel bans suspended immigration from some of the currently affected countries but also included Iraq, Sudan and Somalia. North Korea and Venezuela constitute the newest additions to the immigration policy. Contrary to the 90-day suspension of immigration from countries included in the previous ban, the new travel ban places indefinite limitations on entry into the United States for citizens of the affected countries.

Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law, said that despite the inclusion of North Korea and Venezuela — two non-Muslim majority countries — in the new ban, the ban raises legal concerns similar to those raised by the previous two. According to Chemerinsky, there is “no linkage” between the countries affected by the restrictions and terrorist activities in the United States.

“It is likely unconstitutional for the same reasons,” Chemerinsky said. “(It’s) discrimination based on national origin.”

The University of California has also asserted its opposition to the new travel restrictions affecting university students and staff. UC spokesperson Stephanie Beechem said in an email that the new legislation is “contrary to the values” of the university, adding that the university will remain committed to supporting those who are impacted by the restrictions.

According to Iranian refugee and local immigration attorney Hamid Panah, concerned clients have already reached out to his Berkeley office. Some have been “waiting for more than a decade” to reunite with their loved ones and are now worried that the process will be shut down, Panah said.

“It is through difficult times like this that we are thankful to have a tight knit community of international students,” Aly said in her email.

Contact Sophia Brown-Heidenreich at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @sophiabrownh.

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  • Lance

    Sadly, Trump’s contentious issue is yet one more thing that makes being an international student away from home difficult, on top of our already complex culture and language. Welcoming and assimilation assistance must come from numerous sources to aid these young people embarking on life’s journey. Most struggle in their efforts and need guidance from schools’ international departments, immigration protection, host families, concerned neighbors and fellow students, and even informative books to extend a cultural helping hand so we all have a win-win situation.
    Something that might help anyone coming to the US is the award-winning worldwide book/ebook “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Used in foreign Fulbright student programs and endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it identifies how “foreigners” have become successful in the US, including students.
    A chapter on education explains how to cope with a confusing new culture and friendship process, and daunting classroom differences. It explains how US businesses operate and how to get a job (which differs from most countries), a must for those who want to work with/for an American firm here or overseas.
    It also identifies the most common English grammar and speech problems foreigners have and tips for easily overcoming them, the number one stumbling block they say they have to succeeding here.
    Good luck to all at UCB or wherever you study or wherever you come from, because that is the TRUE spirit of the American PEOPLE, not a few in government who shout the loudest!

  • hoapres

    It would be curious to know what departments the affected people are in.

  • hoapres

    Trump is undoing the national nightmare known as Obama.

  • BerCaley

    Of course, the topic is Cheeto’s travel ban and how it will affect the Berkeley community.
    Our right wing nutjob friends probably don’t understand how connected we are to the rest of the world.
    But you know, small government, states rights and stuff.

    • hoapres

      You are right. Maybe some of us don’t want to end up like the rest of the world.

      Really, some of us don’t.

      • lspanker

        Maybe some of us don’t want to end up like the rest of the world.

        A concept that certain naive, perpetually indignant trolls here can not grasp…

        • hoapres

          And more importantly perhaps, most of the rest of the world is not where you want to end up being at.

          • BerCaley

            If you read the article (didja read the article?) you’d have seen the list:

            restricting the issuing of immigrant and nonimmigrant visas for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.

            I had a bunch Persian friends in EECS and then there’s Steve Jobs. Really, you either believe in America or you don’t. It’s pretty clear that you don’t.

          • hoapres

            Well I believe in America and it isn’t what my liberal friends want it to turn out to be.

          • BerCaley

            You believe in the South. You should read Tocqueville on the South, book 1, chapter 18. He talks about a society asleep and so completely different from the industrious North.

            Lincoln would have loved the Valley and he’s rolling over in his grave thinking of Cheeto.

          • hoapres

            I believe in the America that the liberals are trying to destroy.

          • BerCaley

            Right, the South. You’re trying to re-litigate the Civil War.

          • lspanker

            Yes, I read the list. Are you not aware that there is a problem with the Islamic Republic of Iran issuing passports to provide false cover to terrorist groups that they sponsor such as Hizb’allah? Similar issue go on in all those countries, which is why they are on the list in the first place.

          • BerCaley

            It’s fairly difficult to get a visa at all with the restrictions already in place. However this would be a good time to remind you of which countries (SA and Egypt) that the 9/11 hijackers came from. Neither of those countries are on that list.

            Again, I remind you, you are not a patriot. You are not seeing this in national security terms at all. You’re just regurgitating Breitbart level nonsense.

      • BerCaley

        That is so cool! I’m corresponding with a full blooded American Indian. Awesome! Although I must admit that you sound like the isolationist Republicans from the 30s who fought Roosevelt tooth and nail about preparing Europe against Hitler.

        Y’all are trying to mask your racism with ‘nationalism’. It’s like the Fox News objection to Kaepernik’s knee protest. Kid Rock wearing an American flag poncho is cool but Kaepernik taking a knee is disrespectful.

        Good luck with that.

        • hoapres


          Race relations are at an almost all time low. Certainly the worse since the civil rights movement began.

          Job well done, Obama.

          • BerCaley

            Race relations *for Republicans*. True dat. That was what Cheeto ran on; it was what the Russian Facebook ads fomented; and it is what matters to you.

            I voted for Obama four times. Just about everyone in my family going out to the cousins and second cousins voted for him.

          • hoapres


            The important thing is that Hillary LOST the election.

          • BerCaley

            Yeah but you still can’t say that you voted for Cheeto.
            You’re just too embarrassed to say that.
            Why is that?

          • hoapres

            In old school America, it was tacky to say the least to ask one who they voted for.

            With that said, the simple fact is that Obama didn’t get a third term known as Hillary.

          • BerCaley

            You’re not old school at all. You’re just embarrassed.

            I get this a lot. I get the Fakebertarians. I get the Ronlulans.
            I get the small govmint. I get a lot of this non sense.

            What I don’t get is honesty. And when you’re dishonest, it shows.
            Being honest puts a certain spring in my step.

          • hoapres

            Well I am old school since I am getting old.

          • lspanker

            I voted for Obama four times.

            We all know that you’re a slow learner, but thanks for confirming that for us.

        • lspanker

          I noted that you weren’t interested in discussion of any issues relevant to the travel ban, such as incidents of terrorism, passport control, vetting/verification procedures for both visitors and immigrants/residents, or any of the various and sundry treaties and agreements related to immigration and travel. Instead, you try to twist and turn this into a race issue, when it is nothing of the sort. Thanks again for proving that you have no real point to make. You’re merely a petulant child playing games, as to be expected from those in Berkeley on the far left side of the spectrum.

          • BerCaley

            If you look below I responded but to hoapres rather than you. Sorry for the mistake.

            That said, yes, this is a race thing to make folks like you happy. Lotta Republicans are embarrassed by it including Graham and McCain and Corker and Collins and …

          • lspanker

            That said, yes, this is a race thing to make folks like you happy.

            No, it’s what you peddle to avoid any type of reasoned discussion.

    • lspanker

      Our right wing nutjob friends probably don’t understand how connected we are to the rest of the world.

      Our left-wing loony friends don’t have any clue why there’s a travel ban on certain (not all) countries. They just think Trump is being mean, BOO-HOO-HOOOO!

  • Graeme Stewart

    Cal community= no borders no bans.
    Cal community= builds secured bordered safe spaces and bans free speech.
    love it.

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  • Carlo Kane

    Does this mean that UC Berkeley’s annual “We Worship Hugo Chavez” festival has to be cancelled?

    • lspanker

      Well, the good news is that since the doctors and teachers in Venezuela are now prostituting themselves to pay the bills down there, the Berkeley progressives don’t have to do it for them.

      • hoapres

        Venezuela another socialist success story.

        The truth told by Donald Trump at the UN.