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Local colleges address students affected by executive order

SPOKANE, Wash. - Several Eastern Washington universities have issued statements regarding their students from countries affected by President Donald Trump's recent executive order on immigration..

Washington State University confirmed Monday that they will continue to support their entire community.

WSU President Kirk Schulz released a statement called "We support all members of the WSU community" on WSU's website:

Dear Faculty, Staff, and Students:

Washington State University shares the deep concerns expressed nationwide about the federal executive order that restricts the ability of individuals from certain countries from being able to enter or return to the United States.

Let us be absolutely clear: We welcome and support all members of the Washington State community—regardless of the country they call home. We remain unflinchingly committed to respecting the dignity of each individual—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, gender identity or expression, religion, or sexual orientation. We will continue to foster a diverse and inclusive community, embrace civil discourse, and strive to ensure a welcoming and safe environment for all.

For decades, Washington State University has invited and welcomed faculty, staff, and students from around the globe to study, teach, and conduct research here. We are proud of that legacy. The blending of the diverse perspectives represented by our community members enriches all of us. Put simply, it improves our ability to teach, conduct research, and serve our communities worldwide in meaningful ways.

More broadly, Washington State is dedicated to providing all students with equal access to affordable higher education and to supporting their career and life goals. That unqualified support extends to our undocumented students as well, as authorized by the state.

We are carefully monitoring developments to better understand how the executive order issued Friday will impact our community. For the short term, we are advising non-U.S. citizens and their families from the impacted countries to refrain from traveling outside the United States.

Additionally, all of the University’s resources are being made available to our international students at this challenging time. Our International Programs Global Services staff (Bryan Hall 108, 509-335-4508), in particular, is prepared to listen to concerns, provide assistance, share the latest information, and refer you to other resources if the need arises. 

Eastern Washington University Media Relations Director Dave Meany told KXLY4 that there are four EWU students from countries affected by the executive order. "One each from Iran, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen.   [EWU's Office of Global Initiatives] has reached out to the students from countries addressed in the EO and advised them not to travel outside the U.S. for the immediate future," said Meany via e-mail.

Whitworth University President Beck A. Taylor sent out an e-mail to students affected by the order. That message reads:

Dear student,

You are receiving this email because you might be among those who may be impacted by the recent presidential executive order limiting entry into the U.S. from selected countries.

First, I want to assure you that you are absolutely welcomed and loved at Whitworth. You would not have been accepted to this university if we at Whitworth did not see the amazing potential you have and the many ways you can and are blessing our community by your presence. We want you here!

I am personally very disappointed in the recent executive action, and I will be meeting with various Congressional members in Washington, D.C., tomorrow to discuss my concerns and to encourage them to take immediate action to ensure your safety and protection. As you probably know, there are many people who are working through the courts and legislature on your behalf, and I urge you to remain patient and calm as the democratic process plays out, and as things become clearer.

In the meantime, personnel from Whitworth will be reaching out to you individually to see if you have particular concerns or needs that we can help with. I know they all want you to feel welcomed and safe.

Peace be with you,

KXLY4 reached out to Gonzaga University, but GU wasn't prepared to release a statement as of Monday afternoon.