Iranian Purdue Students Speak Out Against Trump's Immigration Order

Jan 31, 2017

Almost all the affected Purdue students hail from Iran.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

All but a handful of the approximately 100 Purdue students affected by President Donald Trump’s the recent immigration restrictions are Iranian. And two of them say it’ll be tough to get enough help to keep living their lives as they have been.

Siamak Rabienia, who’s a PhD candidate in mathematics, has only seen his family once during his five years in West Lafayette. He believes it’s going to be even more difficult for him to see them in light of the executive order.

“This is the basic stuff that everybody should have -- like, you have to see your family,” he says.

Rabienia says his concerns have caused his research to be curtailed since the executive order was signed Friday.

More than 100 Purdue students are affected by the President’s order – all of them from Iran, Syria, Yemen and Libya. Purdue does not currently have any students from the other three countries on the list: Iraq, Sudan and Somalia.

Maryam Ghadiri, who's pursuing a doctorate in forestry and natural resources, says she’s lost trust in the United States as a result of the president’s order.

She says she’s received support from friends, but it’s not enough.

“We need an action plan," she says. "We need something take place that we need supported by our community.”

Ghadiri says she had been planning on obtaining her green card and staying in the United States, but has changed her mind because she doesn’t want to be in a community where she isn’t welcomed and faces restrictions.

“I can say that United States is like a prison: you cannot get out and you cannot have a visitor,” Ghadiri says.

In addition to the Iranian students, there are another ten Purdue students from Yemen, Libya and Syria affected by the executive order.