UL Lafayette offers guidance in wake of travel ban

The following is a news release from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 27 placing some temporary bans on entry into the United States.

The executive order restricts individuals from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days. The order suspends Syrian refugees from entering indefinitely. It also suspends entry of all refugees, regardless of country, for 120 days.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette has 10 students on student visas from the seven affected nations. Nine are pursuing doctoral degrees, and one is an undergraduate. Eight are from Iran, one is from Libya, and one is from Yemen.

Rose Honegger, director of the Office of International Affairs at UL Lafayette, said she has reached out to all 10 students. “Everyone is accounted for, and none were traveling. Our priority is to make sure that they were safe and are here. And to provide support to our students and scholars. Everyone I’ve spoken with seems to be doing OK.”

The Office of International Affairs hosted a question and answer session on Wednesday for international students, scholars and faculty in the University’s Student Union. The event was held to provide information about the executive order. An immigration attorney was on hand to help field questions from attendees.

Honegger said the Office of International Affairs has also consulted with embassies and sponsoring agencies, and with nonprofits such as the National Association of Foreign Student Advisors.

“We are in the process of providing as many resources as possible,” Honegger said.

A total of 563 international students on visas are enrolled at the University. Of those, 260 are graduate students, and 255 are undergraduate students. There are also 48 exchange students, scholars and their dependents on visas.

UL Lafayette’s 122 international faculty, staff members and researchers include individuals from 30 foreign countries. Five—who are from Iran—could be affected by the 90-day restriction. One is an administrator and four are faculty members.

Any international student who has questions or concerns about the executive order should contact the University’s Office of International Affairs, which is in Room 136 of the Student Union. The Office’s phone number is (337) 482-6819; its email is oia@louisiana.edu.

UL Lafayette’s Graduate School will accommodate any students who are completing their degrees. For more information, go to the Graduate School in Martin Hall, Suite 332, send email to gradschool@louisiana.edu, or phone (337) 482-6965.

Faculty members with questions or concerns should contact the Office of Academic Affairs in Martin Hall, Room 231, (337) 482-6454, provost@louisiana.edu.

Counseling for students and faculty is available at the Counseling and Testing Center in Saucier Wellness Center, (337) 482-6480, counseling@louisiana.edu.

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