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Universities concerned about Trump's executive order

No area students in countries affected by ban

Universities concerned over Trump's...

President Trump's immigration order is also causing some concern for area schools and colleges.

Both Viterbo University and the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse confirmed to News 8 that there are currently no students from the seven Muslim-majority countries named in the president's order currently enrolled at their schools.

But officials did say that order negatively impacts their mission, which is to provide educational opportunities to everyone around the globe.

"They work with the students through academic advising, cultural adjustment advising, they're their immigration officers,” said Emelee Volden, director of international education and engagement at UW-La Crosse.

And while none of the school’s 120 international students are from the countries in Trump's executive order, the impact is still felt.

"We have faculty who are from one of those nations,” Volden said. "The order would restrict their family from ever visiting them in the United States."

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., believes the move makes the country less safe.

"I think this is a great recruitment tool for ISIS, both in the Middle East and possibly lone wolves in the United States,” Kind said. “And secondly, we need the help and cooperation of the Muslim nations, especially those Sunni nations where ISIS and al-Qaida is located."

Republican Gov. Scott Walker, who once opposed Trump's proposal as a presidential candidate, said in a statement that he supports the order: "This is a safety issue. A resettlement program to help refugees is compassionate and one that I support, but we should ensure we are doing everything possible to put safety of our citizens first."

But Volden says the order, regardless of how many students it impacts at UW-L, targets education as a whole.

"It affects our overall mission. Our mission is to provide global learning opportunities that increase intercultural competency,” Volden said. “It builds up those walls and breaks down the understanding that we're trying to work towards."

News 8 also attempted to contact U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., for his stance on Trump's order, but we have not heard back.

No students from UW-La Crosse are studying abroad in these countries.

But UW-La Crosse does advise students studying in any country to be especially careful right now and be alert when traveling in public.
 


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