Wayne State University

Immigration executive order FAQ

On February 4, a Federal judge in Seattle, Washington, issued a nationwide injunction temporarily barring enforcement of this executive order. The Trump Administration has appealed and requested that the temporary ban be overturned. On February 9, a three judge panel in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit refused that request. This means that the parts of the Executive Order banning travel are not in effect.
While the Trump Administration may attempt to appeal the temporary order to the United States Supreme Court, it is not clear that Supreme Court will agree to hear the case at this early stage. There are one or two other legal options available to the Administration as well. In the meanwhile the case will proceed on its merits in the Seattle court that issued the temporary order.    It is likely that the Executive Order’s travel ban will not be in effect for some period of time. Please continue to check this site regularly for updates.

What's an executive order?

In many areas, the president of the United States has the authority to issue directions as to how to interpret or apply laws previously adopted by Congress. They are called “executive orders.”

Does the president have authority to issue this executive order?

Yes. The president has authority in this area based on a law that gives him the authority to ban entry to “any alien or class of aliens” if he finds that allowing them to enter the United States would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Can the executive order be this broad?

That’s one of the questions now before several courts. The plaintiffs state that by trying to bar people from entire countries, he’s exceeded his authority, and that the executive order cannot discriminate on the basis of religion or national origin.

Which countries are affected?

Visa holders from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.

What about other countries?

The executive order allows other countries to be added if the Director of Homeland Security recommends it. If that happens, it shouldn’t be within the next 60 days.

I was born in one of the seven countries, but I haven’t lived there for years. Does this apply to me?

That’s not very clear. The executive order refers to “foreign nationals.” We think that probably means the country which issued your passport, but it isn’t very clear yet.

Does it apply to people who already have been granted permanent residency?    

On February 1, the White House announced that the Executive Order does not apply to people who have permanent residency.

How long is it in effect? 

Except for Syrian refugees, it is in effect for 90 days, although it might be extended. Syrian refugees are indefinitely barred.

I’m from one of the seven countries and I have an H1B visa. Can I go home for a visit?

We strongly urge you not to travel outside the United States. You may not be able to get back in.

If I am from one of the seven countries listed in the executive order, and live in Canada and study or work at Wayne State, am I at risk?

The executive order puts at immediate risk anyone from one of the seven countries who may be living in Canada and attending school or working at Wayne State. We recommend that you do not leave the country.

If I have to leave, what’s my best chance to get back?

If you absolutely have to leave, talk to an immigration attorney first.

I have a J visa or an F visa. Can I travel across the border?

There is nothing in the executive order that makes an exception for students or scholars, regardless of what kind of visa you hold.

Does the executive order revoke my visa?

No. Your existing visa is valid.

What if I have dual nationality, and one is from a country not named in the Executive Order?

The United States Customs and Border Patrol has announced that people who have dual nationality can be admitted, as long as they are traveling on the passport from the unaffected country.  This was issued as a 'guidance' and so is not formally binding.

How is Wayne State reacting to the executive order?

Engaging with the world remains integral to our mission of creating and advancing knowledge, preparing a diverse student body to thrive, and positively impact local and global communities. 

WSU prides itself on being a welcoming place for students and scholars from around the world regardless of religion, racial/ethnic background, or nationality. International students and scholars, through their contribution to our society, culture, and economy, enrich not only the campus community but also our city, state, and country.

While the recent and proposed changes to immigration policies are raising concerns and uncertainty for many of us, we want to assure our campus community that we will do whatever possible to provide our international students and scholars with the support they need during these uncertain times. 

We are working with colleagues at other universities across the country and through organizations such as National Association Foreign Student Advisors: Association of International Educators (NAFSA), the Institute of International Education (IIE), the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU), and the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) to monitor the situation, provide consistent responses, and advocate on behalf of our students.

Our Office of International Programs staff are ready to assist you and answer your questions and concerns to the best of their abilities and knowledge at the time.  Please contact them at 313-577-3422 or OISSmail@wayne.edu.

We encourage everyone to use this time of transition and uncertainty as an opportunity to better understand one another. The diversity on our campus mirrors the wider world in many ways, and it’s a key reason many of us chose to come to Wayne State. Here we have the opportunity to learn from and appreciate our differences. This is how we grow as individuals and as a community.  

What is Wayne State doing to address the executive order?

As we work to understand all of the nuances of the ban, we will continue to protect student privacy. We will not share private student information unless required by law or a court order, nor will we require students to disclose their immigration status except as required by law. Our police do not inquire into or record the immigration status of students or other persons unless a serious crime has been committed. Wayne State uses E-verify only for its intended purpose, which is concerned solely with determining employment eligibility.

In summary, Wayne State University remains committed to ensuring our campus is welcoming, inclusive and fully nurturing of people from all backgrounds.

What if I want more information about what is going on?

While uncertainties remain, we feel it is important to provide opportunities, especially to those who may be affected, to better understand this matter, and to know that help and support are available. Our staff in the Office of International Programs (OIP) stand ready to support students and scholars who are impacted by the recent policies. We encourage them to contact our advisors at the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) at 313-577-3422 or OISSmail@wayne.edu

OIP is coordinating various activities, including a meeting, to help answer our international students’ and scholars’ questions and concerns, and provide the needed assistance and support during these uncertain times. We will communicate session information to affected students separately.

The Office of International Programs, the Office of Multicultural Student Engagement, and the Provost, have held meetings or forums to discuss this important issue.

What if I feel harassed because of the executive order?

If you are feeling physically harassed or threatened, please immediately contact the Wayne State University Police Department at 313-577-2222. You can also file a complaint with the Office of Equal Opportunity.

You also can contact Marquita Chamblee, Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, at 313-577-2200 or diversity@wayne.edu to register your concern.

What if I am upset and need someone to talk to regarding this executive order?

Students should contact Counseling and Psychological Services if they need support. Staff and faculty are encouraged to reach out to the Wayne State University Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The Office of Multicultural Student Engagement is also a resource for students who are concerned about the impact of the ban on themselves or others.