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Santa Clara University

Presidential Travel Ban

Travel Ban Update
On June 26, 2018 the US Supreme Court ruling upheld the Travel Ban, determining that it was a lawful exercise of the President's authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.   This ruling codified the amended restrictions that were issued by the President on April 10, 2018 updated the Travel Ban issued on September 24, 2017.  The seven countries that remain subject to travel restrictions are Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.  The April 10 amendments removed visa restrictions imposed on nationals of Chad.  
Unlike, the September 24, 2017 version of the Travel Ban, exceptions for students on F and J visas have now been removed except for Iranian citizens, or in the case of a waiver.  The existence of "The Waiver" was an essential element considered by the Supreme Court contributing to their ruling.  For an excellent story about how these waivers work in reality I encourage you to listen to the story of a man from Yemen in the Embedded podcast"The Waiver".
As this is the summer when new international students are getting ready to enter SCU I wanted to share that we have one new student from Iran; Iranian citizens may receive exceptions as students.  SCU has no new international students from the other countries facing the restrictions of the Travel Ban.  SCU now has 1,600 international students.  
In addition to the Travel Ban, the April 18, 2017 Executive Order 13788 "Buy American and Hire American" has targeted the H-1B employer-sponsored visa program and there is the expectation that the work authorization for H-4 spouses will be eliminated.  The US grants 85,000 new H-1B visas to American companies annually to hire foreign workers for specialty occupations. You may have seen this piece in US News in May,  Trump H-1B Visa Restrictions Are Illegal, Tech Companies Allege in Lawsuit Against USCIS.  As the H visa changes impact Silicon Valley, they impact SCU.  SCU students fear the loss of H visas and as a result we have a significant increase in students seeking support from SCU under our F-1 program.  
Impact to our SCU community:
  • We have four students from Iran, two in Graduate Engineering, one in ECP and on post-graduation employment supported by SCU.  There is no change to impacts for these students from the previous version of the ban.
  • We have no students or scholars from the three new countries included in the ban: Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela
  • Prospective student applicants will need to review their intended visa category closely as, in some cases, the President has limited travel restrictions to certain visa types. Generally, this does not include F or J, the visas sponsored by SCU, but we expect students and scholars will experience enhanced screening in any case.

Statements and updates

July 13, 2017 message from Associate Provost for International Programs

September 29, 2017 message from Associate Provost for International Programs, Susan Popko

AILA Practice Alert: DHS and DOS Implementation of Executive Order Imposing Travel and Refugee Ban July 19th, 2017

June 29, 2017 message from Associate Provost for International Programs, Susan Popko

June 26, 2017 US Supreme Court decision related to the March 6, 2017 Executive Order

Second Executive Order on Immigration March 6, 2017

First Executive Order on Immigration January 27, 2017

January 30, 2017 message from President Michael Engh, SJ 

January 26, 2017 message from Associate Provost for International Programs, Susan Popko

Responses from University Presidents and Leaders

Additional Resources on Immigration


As of April 10, 2018, the seven countries that remain subject to travel restrictions are Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. 
On April 10, a new Presidential Proclamation was issued which amended Presidential Proclamation 9645 of September 24, 2017.  The amendments removed the visa restrictions imposed on nationals of Chad.  On June 26 the US Supreme Court ruling upheld that Presidential Proclamation 9645 was a lawful exercise of the President's authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act.  
Under the September 24, 2017 Travel Ban updates (Presidential Proclamation 9645), the countries banned increased to eight and changed as follows: Chad (new), Iran, Libya, North Korea (new), Somalia, Syria, Venezuela (new) and Yemen.   Sudan was removed from the list.  The rules varied by country, for example, barring entry into the US of immigrants and non immigrants from Chad, Libya and Yemen on business, tourist or business-tourist visas.  As well, the September 24, 2017 Travel Ban updates barred entry of Iranian citizens as immigrants or non immigrants but provides an exception for Iranian students.  The September 24, 2017 ban impacted nationals of these country who lacked "a bona fide connection to a person or entity in the United States" but note that a student visa is considered demonstration of a bona fide connection to a US entity.  
SCU has graduate students from countries subject to the travel restrictions who must remain in the US for the duration of their studies and who may not travel home to see their families or they will risk not being able to re-enter the US.
SCU has had visiting faculty scholars from countries subject to the travel restrictions who had to remain in the US for the duration of their program and who were not able to travel home to see their families.  In 2016-17 (Spring 2017) this was one scholar.
SCU has had small numbers of admitted international graduate students who were not able to enter the US.  In 2016-17 (Spring 2017) this number was two students.  
At SCU our student population is predominantly studying in undergraduate and Masters programs rather than researching or pursuing PhDs.  This means that their academic experience is more bound to our on-campus academic terms.  Typically, we do not have students and researchers traveling all over at any given time in the middle of the term.  This has limited the immediate impact on our community. Nationally, the campuses most directly impacted by this are the research universities with large PhD and Medical programs as well as hundreds of short-term visiting international faculty/scholars.  

Our international student advisors in the Global Engagement Office are available to talk with you about immigration concerns or concerns related to your academic success.  Stop by during drop-in advising:

Program Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
International Students & Scholars Program 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM PST 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM PST 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON PST 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON PST 10:00 AM - 12:00 NOON PST

Other support available to you:

  • Academic advising concerns for undergraduate students: Drahmann Center
  • Health and counseling concerns: Cowell center 
  • Spiritual support: Campus Ministry 
  • Jum'ah prayer on Fridays, 2:20-2:40 p.m. in Multifaith Sanctuary (St. Joseph Hall, 1st floor)

We are not aware of any SCU students, faculty or staff or their families who have been detained at airports or directly impacted in their travel

Global Engagement has long recommended that all international students refrain from travel outside of the US while their academic term is in session since their immigration status is tied to demonstrating that they are here to study and, presumably, are attending class.  Since the Travel Ban does not include restrictions for international students from countries other than the countries listed there is nothing in the Travel Ban that would prevent travel for international students not from one of the impacted countries.  That said, since January 2017 when the new US Presidential administration took office we have entered a highly unpredictable environment related to immigration.  This means that what is true today could change in an instant, as we have seen with the Travel Ban.  We strongly recommend that all international students wishing to travel outside the US and return should carefully consider their options.

Yes, SCU ranks 11th among all US Master’s Universities for the total number of international students that we host.   Within our international student population we are proud to have 464 international students from countries with significant Muslim populations including: Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Cameroon, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mozambique, Zambia, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Bangladesh, India, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste/East Timor, Vietnam, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Emirates, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.  

If your family member hopes to enter the US from one of the seven countries specified in the Travel Ban, they should expect that their entrance to the US will be denied and they should not plan to travel.

The Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) advises that the Executive Order applies to dual nationals but that they will be “treated according to the travel document they present”:  We recommend that dual nationals consult a Global Engagement advisor or an immigration attorney prior to engaging in travel.

National Context of the Travel Ban

The Travel Ban is having a massive impact on universities across the US.  The institutions most affected are those with significant doctoral programs, particularly Ph.D. and MD.  As well, universities with large programs for visiting short-term international scholars/faculty/researchers are being highly impacted.  To learn more about these institutions see the Institute of International Education (IIE) Open Doors reports on the research universities with the largest numbers of students and scholars here:

Institutions Hosting the Most Scholars

Doctoral Universities Hosting the Most International Students

Yes. In 2015 international students contributed over $30.5 billion to the US economy according to the US Department of Commerce.  Notably, 72 percent of all international students in the US receive the majority of their funds from sources outside of the US including personal and family sources, assistance from home country government or universities.  For more information see the NAFSA International Student Economic Value Tool website.

From Fortune Magazine: "Colleges Could Lose $700 Million a Year Because of President Trump's Immigration Ban"

Michael Engh, S.J., President, made a statement to faculty, staff, and students expressing grave concern over the changes. He joined numerous professional and educational associations in their stance against the changes, including the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, American Council on Education, and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Below are responses from university presidents and leaders:

Travel Ban Impact for Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card Holders)

On January 29, 2017 the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a fact sheet invoking an exception to the entry ban for Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States travelling on a valid I-551 (green card).  Lawful Permanent Residents will be assessed at arrival ports of entry, and will be permitted entry subject to security checks.

See guidance from US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) related to Lawful Permanent Residents, particularly the FAQs, available on the CBP website here:

Under the recent guidance from the White House, we will continue to ensure that lawful permanent residents are processed through our borders efficiently.  Under that guidance, the Executive Order issued January 27, 2017, does not apply to their entry to the United States.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection will continue to execute its mission to protect the homeland in its processing of all individuals at ports of entry.

Under the recent guidance from the White House, CBP will continue to ensure that LPRs are processed through our borders efficiently. Under that guidance, the Executive Order entitled "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States" does not apply to LPRs’ entry to the United States. Prior to this guidance, and as of February 1, 2017, CBP processed 1,610 waivers for LPRs to re-enter the United States.

Travel Ban Impact for Undocumented and DACA Students

Resources for SCU faculty

Support for ethical and compassionate teaching on the recent travel ban targeting refugees and immigrants includes online and in-person resources through Faculty Development and colleagues in the SCU faculty community:
  • VITAL (a reading/discussion group on teaching) has focused in 2016-17 on inclusive pedagogies, teaching across lines of difference (including politics), how to address hot topics (such as the executive order) and respond to moments of incivility and hostility. Working bibliography . Winter Quarter discussions on Feb 15 and March 7.
  • SCU Faculty are currently sharing resources on the executive order in this community folder, which includes teaching ideas.
  • Mentoring and individual consultations about effective teaching (in general and on the executive order) are always available through faculty development.
  • Your senior colleagues and department chair will have particular ideas about how to respond in the context of your discipline.
  • Consider connecting your class discussions and readings to programs such as this year's Ignatian Center Bannan Institute Discussions on Racial and Ethnic Justice and the Common Good, or resources and colleagues at The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.