Saskatchewan university presidents call for end to U.S. travel ban

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WATCH ABOVE: The presidents of the University of Regina and University of Saskatchewan say U.S. travel ban could hurt their institutions. – Jan 30, 2017

A temporary travel ban from seven Muslim-majority countries to the United States could negatively impact both of Saskatchewan’s major post-secondary education institutions, according to their presidents.

On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order that bans citizens from Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Libya and Somalia from visiting the country for three months. The measure also suspended America’s refugee program for four months.

READ MORE: Sask. political and religious leaders oppose Donald Trump’s travel ban

In a statement, University of Saskatchewan president Peter Stoicheff said the institution “expresses its deep concern regarding the American presidential order” and called for the ban to end.

“The executive order has the potential to negatively affect our research and teaching partnerships with U.S. institutions, conference participation, study abroad, and interactions with U.S. colleagues,” the statement read.

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“We are working at our globally connected university to understand the full impact the executive order will have on our students, faculty and staff.”

READ MORE: Trump travel ban may keep Fredericton university student’s family from graduation

Dr. Vianne Timmons, president of the University of Regina, echoed Stoicheff in a statement of her own Monday.

“I express complete opposition to the immigration ban being imposed on certain countries by the recently elected President of the United States,” Timmons said.

“The immigration measures … threaten our partnerships abroad and create a climate of instability for the thousands of international students and faculty members who call our campus home.”

READ MORE: How big businesses around the world are reacting to Trump’s travel ban

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall said Monday that his government wants “to be helpful to anybody caught up in the ban,” however added that he is unsure of how many residents will ultimately be affected.

The federal government has clarified that Canadian citizens and permanent residents will still be allowed to enter the U.S., even if they have ties to one of the countries listed in the ban.

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