February 06, 2017
Center for International Education provides update
Feb. 5, 2017
Dear International Students, Scholars and University Community:
SIU Carbondale Chancellor Brad Colwell issued a response to the Jan. 27 executive order on immigration, stating “Our commitment to our international students and scholars remains strong to this day. We believe that our more than 1,200 international students from more than 100 countries positively contribute to a campus culture that helps all of us better understand what it means to be part of a global society.”
The SIU Center for International Education (CIE) stands in solidarity with our international students, faculty and staff who hold visas from the seven countries directly impacted by the executive order. We are committed to a safe and welcoming campus for all international students and we call on the entire Southern Illinois University community to come together in support of our international students.
SIU currently enrolls 88 students from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The anxiety, uncertainty and hardship felt by students from these seven predominantly Muslim countries also extends to many of SIU’s 1,263 enrolled international students who are shocked by the circumstances under which they find themselves in the United States.
Leaders in American higher education and the field of international education are responding strongly to the unprecedented executive order as is evidenced by the following passage from the Jan. 30, 2017 statement by Esther D. Brimmer, executive director and CEO of NAFSA, Association of International Educators: “To the students, scholars, doctors, refugees, family members and others who wonder if the United States has lost its commitment to its core values as a nation of freedom, opportunity and welcome, let me unequivocally state that American citizens will not tolerate policies such as these that undermine our values and endanger our safety. We understand that America is part of the global community, and we will raise our voices with Congress, with the White House, with the media and in our communities to continue to adhere to the principles that have always made us strongest.”
CIE efforts to support SIU’s international students in this time of uncertainty began in earnest on the morning following the presidential election in November when CIE formed a committee charged with examining potential immigration impacts of the election on our international students and visiting scholars. Those examinations led to the creation of special post-election informational sessions for students and the distribution of up-to-date information to academic and administrative units that advise international students. CIE recommended that new and continuing international students be sure to arrive on campus no later than Jan. 17, the beginning of the academic semester. On Wednesday, Feb. 1, we held our first immigration update and support meeting in response to the executive order.
The Executive Order has several key provisions that impact international students and scholars at SIU. They include:
A 90-day ban on entry into the United States for all nationals of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen
The indefinite suspension of entry into the United States of all Syrian nationals as refugees
The suspension of all refugee processing for 120 days
The introduction of new screening procedures for all visa applicants
The suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program
Currently, CIE is continuing to closely monitor information sources, including professional associations, immigration authorities and media outlets so that we are able to provide accurate and timely information to our students. As of Sunday, Feb. 5, a great deal of confusion remains regarding the executive order and its impact on international students. Although the courts have temporarily blocked the federal government from enforcing measures of the executive order, we advise all F1 and J1 students enrolled at SIU Carbondale (and F2 and J2 dependents) as follows:
There are no status threats at this time as a result of the executive order. Keep your passports valid, continue a full-time course of study, and report any changes of personal information to the CIE office within 10 days!
Travel outside the U.S. is not advised at this time. Speak with your CIE advisor if you have plans to travel. If you are already overseas, contact your CIE advisor.
Updates and Outreach
Attend weekly CIE immigration update and support meetings. The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 7, at 3 p.m. in the CIE, Woody Hall. Visit the Center for International Education SIU Facebook page often for news and updates. CIE will work with our academic units and community partners to expand opportunities for dialogue and community education. Announcements are forthcoming.
CIE is open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Woody Hall. Stop by with questions or call our office at 618/453-5774 to make an appointment with an advisor.
Confidential counseling services are available for students Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Student Health Center. Contact: (618) 453-5371. Remember, you can always reach out to a CIE staff member at any time.
Campus police may be contacted for any issues pertaining to safety by calling 618/453-3771 (non-emergency) or 911 (emergency).
Lastly, I want to invite all of you to this week’s International Festival 2017 – Unity in Diversity. Show your support for our international students and international student organizations by marching in the International Parade of Flags on Monday, eating great food at the International Food Fair on Wednesday, and enjoying the Culture Show on Friday. There has never been a better time to celebrate the diversity, inclusiveness and cultures represented at SIU.
Andrew D. Carver
Professor and Interim Director
SIU Center for International Education