LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — California Institute of Technology faculty and students on Wednesday rallied against President Donald Trump’s plan to introduce a revised travel ban.
“To all the immigrants at Caltech, you belong here!” one faculty member said.
Several faculty members spoke at the event to show their support for international students. About 15 percent of Caltech undergrads are international students. About 48 percent of grad students are international.
“We believe it’s important that we publicly state our strong support for all of the international members of our community,” said Michael Roukes, a professor of physics, applied physics and bioengineering.
Some who attended said they’ve been waiting for an opportunity to protest on campus since Trump first rolled out a set of travel restrictions that went into effect in late January. That order was struck down in federal appeals court last month, but Trump is reportedly planning to roll out a replacement soon.
“No ban should stand in our way when we pursue our academic dreams,” Prof. Gil Refael said.
One Iranian student said she was grateful to see the support of her professors.
She said she avoids traveling so she doesn’t risk being detained.
“I really don’t travel, in order not to be in trouble,” she said. “If you leave the country, there’s no guarantee you can come back.”
Other students who didn’t wish to provide their names said they are also concerned about Trump placing new restrictions on traveling into the U.S.
“I thought about moving to Canada or going back to Iran,” one student said.
The Caltech professors said they have drafted a letter and gathered signatures opposing a travel ban. They plan to send the letter to representatives in Washington, D.C.