Arab Students Association Hosts ‘Teach-In’ With Legal Experts

The Harvard Arab Students Association hosted a “teach-in” in Science Center B Wednesday to share legal advice with international students potentially impacted by President Donald J. Trump’s recent travel ban.

Panelists included Dennis Parker, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program; Shannon Al-Wakeel, executive director at the Muslim Justice League; Maureen Martin, director of immigration services at the Harvard International Office; Abed Ayoub, legal and policy director at the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee; and Khaled Beydoun, an associate law professor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

At the panel, Martin offered information from the International Office about the effect of the travel ban on undergraduates, and said Harvard has been doing what it can to support students from countries affected by the order.

“We’re seeing a palpable sense of fear in all of our international students, not just the ones from the seven countries named,” Martin said. “[There are] concerns about students whose parents might not be able to come to graduation… [and students] who might not be able to go home for the summer.”

Martin said Harvard is concerned about the effect the order will have on the upcoming admissions cycles, specifically whether fears that more countries may be added to the ban may deter some international students—uncertain that they will be able to travel freelyfrom coming to the United States for college.

In the wake of Trump’s order, several Harvard-affiliated researchers, including four Iranian researchers, were barred from re-entering the United States.

The travel ban has generated confusion and concern for many at Harvard. Beydoun attributed the uncertainty surrounding the travel restrictions to the manner in which the order was written, which he described as “very vague and ambiguous... which led to a lot of misinformation.”

Parker described the ACLU's effort to nullify the ban as a “struggle to make us live up to what we profess here in America.”

—Staff writer Lucas Ward can be reached at lucas.ward@thecrimson.com. Follow him on twitter at @LucaspfWard.

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