International students at TTU personally affected by travel ban - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

International students at TTU personally affected by travel ban

Mahdi Ramezanian is a green card holder from Iran, studying for his PHD at Texas Tech (source: KCBD video) Mahdi Ramezanian is a green card holder from Iran, studying for his PHD at Texas Tech (source: KCBD video)
LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) -

Texas Tech University President Lawrence Schovanec responded to Trump's recent executive order, making note that the university has more than 3,000 students, faculty and staff from over 100 countries

In his statement, Schovanec says the international students are valued and welcomed members of the university community, and he recommends that any Tech student with a passport from one of the seven countries avoid international travel.

He also says the Office of International Affairs at Texas Tech is monitoring the situation, and working with any affected international students.

Mahdi Ramezanian is a green card holder from Iran, studying for his PHD in Petroleum Engineering at Texas Tech.

He says he respects the need to keep the United States safe, but as an immigrant from one of the countries on the list, he says he feels disappointed.

"What is going on is not fair. Because just seven countries are included in the executive order. And we guess that we have been screened out based on our nationality, or race or religion. And it doesn't feel good," Ramezanian said.

His family is still in Iran.

He says his parents were in the process of applying for a visa to visit him in Lubbock when the order was signed.

"Now we just received an email from the embassies that all of the appointments have been canceled, we will not refund your money that you have paid for the visa. And I'm almost asking myself, why?" Ramezanian said.

Ambassador Tibor Nagy at Texas Tech says the need to heighten our countries security is important, though he hopes this won't create a sense that international students aren't welcome.

"Our international students are extremely valuable not only to the university and the community, but to the nation and the nation's security...they're bringing resources with them to contribute to our wealth. Not just economic but also, psychological, intellectual, and the wealth as a nation," Ambassador Nagy said.

He says the executive order will impact 149 students, and nine researchers and faculty or staff members.

He says the Office of International Affairs will answer questions for any of the affected students.

"We've been responding to all of the students who have come with questions. You know of course that's one of the natural things that happens even though this only affects that student population, other internationals are going to think wow, does this impact me?" Ambassador Nagy said.

Meanwhile Ramezanian says he hopes he can see his family in the near future.

"You know it is just a barrier between us and our families, and our beloveds. And the point is we don't know why," Ramezanian said.

Ambassador Nagy says the Office of International Affairs will continue to follow any developments that come with this executive order.

Copyright 2017 KCBD. All rights reserved.

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