“My priority was to get a better education.”
We reached Alaa Al-saabee by Skype from Cyprus. He's 22-years-old with an acceptance letter to Wayne State University. The engineering student from Syria was excited to come to Detroit.
“Detroit offered a great place where multi-cultural communities are celebrated and doing very well over there.”
Sunday he received an email from the U.S. Embassy in Cyprus told him his immigration interview had been canceled - all because of that executive order. Because immigration from Syria is suspended indefinitely, he was told not to bother applying again.
“I've been so frustrated by this,” he said.
The president of the university sent an email to the Wayne State community expressing concern about just how the executive order is impacting international students. They’re working with a number of lawyers and international organizations to determine what’s next. Right now they’re advising students who are already here, to stay in the country.
In the meantime, students at Wayne State are making their voices heard regarding that executive order - protesting Monday night against the travel and immigration ban.
“It's fear of the other when our problem is right here at home. Our problem is right here at home. Until we recognize that, we can't fix our society," said one student.
“I think courts will definitely address it, it's gotten so much backlash and so many protests all over the country, especially on college campuses," another student said.
“On the international stage who is going to take up the role of taking care of refugees now that America's kind of out of the picture?” said another student.