TRU International students baffled at Trump's travel ban

By Chad Klassen
January 30, 2017 - 5:34pm

KAMLOOPS — Following U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order on Friday that has banned immigrants from seven countries, protests have erupted across the globe. 

The same concerns heard around the world are being echoed at Thompson Rivers University. Muhammad Daniyal is studying at TRU, and while his homeland Pakistan is not on the list, he still feels targeted as a Muslim. 

"It's definitely an awful thing," he says. "What Mr. Trump is doing, it's an out of mind thing. Going randomly after those seven countries, why? What's the point?"

For president trump, it's a matter of homeland security. But Daniyal feels the hate speech and division created by this could fire back at the States. 

"I remember he commented that he's going to eradicate ISIS from this entire globe," says Daniyal, referencing comments made by Trump during the Presidential campaign last year. "But the way he has started doing it, it's going to trun out bad for him first, and America."

Meshari Alrefaey is studying business at TRU. He's from Saudi Arabia --- another country not impacted by the ban. But he shares in Daniyal's sentiments. 

"We have not heard about any attacks from those countries against either America or anywhere else," he says. "He was mentioning repeatedly 'Muslim countries, Muslim countries,' so I think his issue is becoming a little bit Islamophobia."

The travel ban has some recent Syrian refugees to Kamloops worried from afar, and while their English isn't necessary polished enough to express that, Paul Lagace from Kamloops Immigrant Services says the U.S. has gone back in time --- not learning from recent history.  

"If you remember, this is the kind of behaviour that took palce in the early 1900s. It took place in Canada, as well as in the U.S. People were turned away. The Jewish population trying to escape the Holocaust were turned away," Lagace notes.

Lagace does say that Canada is the safest place for the refugees. As for international students at TRU, they feels the U.S. will ultimately pay the price for such decisions. 

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