Former students respond to executive order

Sandrita Sanabria believes that Donald Trump does not represent the American people she knows.

Sanabria, a former university international student from Paraguay said although she expected Trump to win the presidential election, she was shocked to hear about the executive order.

“When you think about America you think of diversity,” she said. “But now I think the order is definitely going to change everybody’s thoughts.”

President Trump signed an executive order that halts immigration from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. The order also prevents Syrian refugees from coming into the country indefinitely and all refugee admissions for 120 days.

“We aren’t talking about illegal immigrants, we are talking about people who have gone through a security process, people with a green card and people with dual citizenship,” she said. “I think it just violates their rights and not only that but also shows a message to the American people that these people are dangerous.”

After spending last spring at USI, Sanabria said she might choose a European county to get her masters instead of coming back to the U.S.

“I think international students are going to think twice before going to America,” she said. “Especially students from Muslim countries, because even if they get to America they probably won’t be able to leave the country or they won’t be able to come back and finish their studies.”

When Sanabria thinks back to her experience in America she said she met so many wonderful people it’s hard for her to believe that Trump is the person representing them.

Sanabria said she hopes to see things get better but believes Trump isn’t “diplomatic” but a businessman, and managing a country is harder than managing a business. Especially when he puts executive orders and wall plans in place.

“I think everybody is shocked that in the 21st century this is even a topic we are talking about,” she said. “It feels like this is something you would read in history books in the 1940s not something you would read in 2017.”

Souleymane Mamane Illia, a former university international student from Niger, Africa, said he believes Trump made the wrong decision banning people based on their beliefs.

“It didn’t surprise me,” he said. “It’s something he has been saying since his campaign.”

Illia said the order does not reflect what America is and contradicts its values.

Illia said the executive order was also something he wasn’t taking serious because he never thought “such a thing would happen.”

“Although Trump may have some motives behind his decision it will bring more harm than good,” he said. “He is bringing hate in American society and even in many parts of the world. So instead of solving America’s problems this will bring new problems.”

Illia said it is comforting to see how people all over the world are rejecting the decision, including in his own country.

Sanabria said the protests “show the human side of Americans.”

“It shows that not all American people support Trump,” she said. “Even people who voted for Trump don’t support his ban on Muslims. I think this isn’t what the American people really want.”

Sanabria said her hope for the American people is that they don’t let this order divide them.

“When you have a friend with whom you do not agree with, don’t let these situations divide you,” she said. “Don’t fight with your family and friends over this… family and friends are forever.”

Sanabria said she feels sorry for international students going through these problems.

“Somehow racism, which I experienced myself, has been increasing in America so I would like to tell the international students to keep strong,” she said. “…Find Americans to help you and don’t let Trump divide you.”