MTU students disappointed in travel ban

HOUGHTON — Though the President says his executive order will allow the U.S. to review its vetting process, what about those who are already here and contributing to our community? Mahta Naziri came here from Iran to pursue her graduate studies at Michigan Tech.

Naziri said, “Right when I thought I was on track and I can do the thing that I always wanted to, things have changed and right now I’m on a F-2 visa type, it means I cannot be a student unless I change it to a student visa.”

Because of the ban, Naziri cannot change her visa and if she goes back to Iran, she won’t be able to return.

Naziri said, “It makes me so sad and heartbroken that, not only I cannot see my parents and my family and my loved ones, I cannot pursue the only thing that I came here for.”

Naziri has pushed back her plans to begin at Tech until next Fall. International students at Michigan Tech have received a great deal of support from the university and other students, like Johanna Thill from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Thill said, “I think it’s much easier to turn people away when you don’t know them. But for me, it’s my friends, my professors, my TA’s who are affected by this and that they are not able to return to their studies, some of them, if they left the country on vacation or to see family because there was no warning, or also people who are missing important family events and that’s been hard to watch.”

Thill says there should have been more thought into the deeper effects of the ban.

Thill said, “And I agree that we need to keep our country safe, but I think we also need to realize that we are a country of immigrants and immigrants are what makes our country great and visiting scholars are a crucial part of any collegiate experience.”

She says studying with international students has been a wonderful experience, one she hopes others will be able to have as well.