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Providence Statement on Temporary U.S. Travel Ban
2017-01-30
Providence is deeply troubled by the recent U.S. Executive Order temporarily preventing people from seven countries from entering the United States. We recognize the sovereignty of the United States to act in keeping with its own interests, but as a multicultural campus in Canada, this temporary travel ban affects our students.
 
Our Student Council president, Bardia Salimkhani, is from Iran and unable to travel to or through the U.S. as a result of the Executive Order. An aviation student, Bardia was supposed to do an international flying exercise this semester as part of his graduation requirement. Bardia’s parents may not be allowed to attend graduation, if they have to pass through the U.S. to get here.
 
We are also concerned that many students in Canada and around the world—students like Bardia—are being painted with a single brush of suspicion and fear. As a Christian academic community in the evangelical tradition, we strive to exemplify the gospel of grace by upholding the dignity of, showing respect to and serving all people regardless of race, religion or culture. One of our goals is to eliminate racial and cultural prejudice.
 
We are proud to provide a safe, welcoming environment to all our students, and will continue to do so.
 
Bardia Salimkhani says: It makes you feel really small and unimportant. Just because I have an Iranian passport doesn’t mean I’m a bad person—doesn’t mean I’m going to do something wrong. It wasn’t my choice I was born there.
 
Providence President Dr. David Johnson says: It appears that a decision was made to institute a temporary travel ban without taking into account the full ramifications for partner countries. Our hope is that this ban will be reversed.
 

         

 
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