Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Higher Ed and the travel ban

The Chronicle of Higher Education keeps posting articles related to Trump's ban of Muslims. This surprises me, not because his executive order doesn't have wide implications for education, but because it's a bit odd that the Chronicle is coming out with such a clear left-leaning orientation -- although, granted, a strong majority of academia tends to be left-leaning.

Anyway, the whole situation is a mess. My current department actually has a good many Middle Eastern students. Most of them are Saudi, so are safe from the ban, but we also have a Kurdish Syrian refugee who now can't risk leaving the US for any reason. One reason the ban is idiotic as well as mean-spirited is that this particular Syrian refugee is also a Fulbright Scholarship recipient. So it's likely that, even beyond the gratuitous level of spite that led to the exclusion of valid visa-holders, this ban is also keeping out truly productive individuals that any country would be glad to have . . . all for the sake of an imaginary increase in protection against terrorists.

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