Portland Tribune: Portland State teaches 56 students from countries in Trump travel ban
Author: Shasta Kearns Moore, Portland Tribune
Posted: December 5, 2017

Read the original story in the Portland Tribune.

The sudden announcement Monday afternoon of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow the Trump Administration's third travel ban to take effect did not spark the same panic on college campuses that the first travel ban did.

Portland State University, which educates 56 students from the eight affected countries, released a statement saying that while officials were still concerned, the order was unlikely to impact its students' ability to continue to study.

"Portland State supports all of our international students and visiting scholars, and we remain concerned about the impact of the travel restrictions on them," PSU Spokesman Chris Broderick said in an email.

The travel ban affects, to varying degrees, nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen and Somalia. Six of those countries are majority-Muslim.

The Supreme Court decision reverses an injunction stopping the ban while lower courts in Hawaii and Maryland hear arguments this week. The travel ban will be in full effect until those courts rule and the Supreme Court offers its guidance, according to various news reports.

PSU has five students from Syria, one of the countries with tight restrictions that effectively prohibit their citizens from obtaining permanent or temporary visas.

However, Broderick said officials believe those students will be allowed to continue their studies at PSU under their existing visas. The U.S. Department of State issued guidance in September that the ban would not affect people already in the country on a valid visa.

There are 26 PSU students visiting from Iran, 16 from Libya, five from Yemen and four from Venezuela. Portland State currently has no students from North Korea, Somalia or Chad.

Somalis make up a significant portion of the immigrant population in Portland. A 2016 Multnomah County report identified 822 Somali students in the county's public schools and estimated the entire state's Somali population between 12,000 to 15,000.

According to the New York Times, it will still be possible for some visitors to come from Somalia after extra screening, but they will no longer be allowed to emigrate.

In January, Portland State University's then-President Wim Wiewel issued a statement expressing dismay at the president's first travel ban. Wiewel predicted it would have a chilling effect on international enrollment at the college.

In fall 2016 there were 2,129 international students. This fall, the university counts 1,946, an 8.6 percent decrease.