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Otterbein community members react to new immigration policy

The Otterbein community expresses their thoughts about President Trump’s executive order concerning immigration

The Otterbein community was shaken by the recent ban on predominantly Muslim travelers into the United States on Saturday.

“America is a melting pot of cultures. We have been able to advance as a culture and society by being open to the ideas, beliefs and actions of others,” said Seth Hazen, a sophomore music and business major. “Trump promotes an unhealthy sense of nationalism.”

On Jan. 27, Trump’s signature was marked on an executive order titled “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States.” The order brings a halting stop to the entry of the United States for 90 days, which covers travelers from seven predominantly Muslim countries: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Somalia and Yemen.

Late Jan. 28, it was announced that federal Judge Ann Donnelly granted a stay, blocking part of Trump’s executive order.

Many students feel as though this policy betrays the principles on which the country was founded upon, citing the fact that the U.S. is a nation built on immigration. “As citizens of the U.S. we need to teach ourselves and others around us to be inclusive of all groups,” said Benny Tobias, a first-year political science major.

The counter to this argument is often focused around a genuine fear of safety for the homes and families of current U.S. citizens.

Trump also established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations. He ordered that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims.

In a letter addressed to the campus community on Monday, President Kathy Krendl noted the evolving nature of the executive order and stated that the purpose of the letter was to provide information. 

In contrast to statements released after the executive order by other universities, including Kent StateOhio State and Ohio Wesleyan, the statement did not explicitly condemn the order or pledge support to students affected by the order. Instead, the letter stated that Otterbein was committed to protecting community members to the full extent of the law.

Otterbein360 will continue to update this story when further comments become available.

Editor's Note: This article was updated in response to an Otterbein letter to the campus community.

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