Providing resources about immigration ban

Travel Ban
Matthew Reitveld / The Watchdog

Bellevue College has set up points of contact for students who need to learn more about Trump’s recent immigration ban, condensing information about the ban and resources for students into a flier. “The Office of the Vice President, Student Affairs is serving as the point of contact for Bellevue College students who have questions or concerns about the impact of the executive order. This point of contact will reduce confusion and permit the students to be connected to the appropriate services on and off campus,” said Michael Kaptik, Bellevue College’s dean of Student Affairs.

On Jan. 27, President Trump signed an executive order enacting a travel ban on citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen for 90 days. The executive order has faced a lot of legal opposition. Recently, three federal judges refused to restore the president’s travel ban, and because of these court rulings the US will remain open to refugees and visa holders from the seven countries for the time being. The Attorney General of Washington State also refused Trump’s travel ban.

The Office of Student Affairs in conjunction with the Bellevue College Department of Institutional Advancement put together the flier that contains the points of contact and additional information. Alonda Williams, director of the department of institutional advancement at BC finalized the information on the flyer. Once the flyers were finalized, they were distributed around various buildings around the campus and on the Bellevue College website.

“This information is going to obviously include our affirmation and our commitment to the students, and identify the institutional policies that protect the student and their due process, as well as some of the different laws and regulations as well as some as the local and national resources,” said Ata Karim, vice president of Student Affairs.

“There was a lot of angst when the executive order came out. People were quite anxious, we have many students that hail from those seven countries that were identified, and we thought that instead of having people going here there and everywhere, it would make sense for them to have one point of contact and that we could then help them find the information that they need. It makes sense for the vice president of Student Affairs’ office to be that point,” Karim added.

Bellevue College has international students coming from the seven countries who could be impacted. However, because the executive order is currently on hold, how this may impact these students is uncertain. The college reaffirms through the flier that it is committed to creating a safe space for all students.

The flyer contains contact information for LGBTQ resources support, a volunteer attorney program, up to date regulations about immigration services, the suicide prevention hotline, on campus institutional resources, student programs, financial aid, counseling, advising, the Bellevue College Office of Diversity and Pluralism, as well as national level contacts such as the Dream Act Portal, the National Immigration Law Center, and other national citizenship and immigration services.

In addition to the flier, Steve Miller gave a workshop about the immigration ban on Jan. 9,  which saw a healthy attendance of students. During the workshop, Miller explained the situation surrounding the travel ban, what rights international students have and discussed resources students can seek for support.

Students with further questions can contact Student Services  at 425-564-2205.