Around 50 people gathered at Purdue University Thursday to protest President Trump’s immigration ban. The demonstration was on behalf of a large percentage of immigrant Purdue students who hail from one of the seven countries included in the order.
Though it was organized by the university’s Iranian Cultural Club, the peaceful protest included more than just members of Purdue’s immigrant community, which includes more than 9,000 overseas students in total.
Danny Weiss, a Purdue instructor, says he was there because he believes the immigrant population of the United States is its back bone.
“The open door policy that we’ve had in the past is being threatened and I think that’s a real hit to our country,” Weiss said.
Negin Hosseini Goodrich, an Iranian immigrant who is married to an American, says she feels like she is, in her words, ‘ripping between two countries, and two loves’. After she obtained her citizenship, she started the citizenship process for her mother, which has now been disrupted by the recent regulation.
“I cried when my lawyer said ‘Negin, I am sorry about it. The visa is frozen,’” Hosseini Goodrich says.
Mahsa Minaei, an Iranian woman married to a PhD candidate at Purdue University, arrived in the United States five days before the executive order was placed.
“I was so lucky to come a few days before this event. But now I’m really sad for my friends that rejected in the airport. They can’t study anymore, they lost their job,” Minaei says.
Natasha Duncan, a Purdue political science professor and herself an immigrant from Trinidad, says even though her travel is not affected by the executive order, her emotions are.
“I think it’s a decision that was made that was not thought through well, one that has serious repercussions for families, but even for our nation as a whole,” Duncan says.
94 of the more than 100 Purdue students affected by the travel ban hail from Iran.