By Laura Aviles, Staff Writer
Sunday, January 28 – 7:30 am. “Is everything okay? What did your friends say about the last announcement?”
My dad called me, his voice sounding worried. As I’m walking around the campus I respond, “yes everything is okay, did something happen?” He started telling me the news of a travel ban executive order. Seven countries were banned from entering in the United States for 90 days. I turn on the television, suddenly the news hit me like cold water. President Trump has signed an executive order which restricts people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. This travel ban applies to every kind of visa, even people of those countries who already had citizenship as well as refugees trying to enter the U.S.
The executive order was signed the 27 of January, which ironically is the commemoration of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This date was established by the UN to honor the memory of the Holocaust victims. It rejects any denial of the Holocaust as an event and condemns all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons based on ethnic origin or religious belief. Bigotry and hatred come in different ways, because violence can be manifested physically and psychologically. In some cases, psychological violence is even worse because it forms wounds harder to heal. Expressions of intolerance and indifference are the ugly faces of a travel ban.
Somebody told me this week, “Don’t worry, it’s not us, we are not included in that list.” I never thought that a simple word like “we” can have such different meanings. I realized that this word not only can unite people, but it can also divide. Regardless of the place you were born, we are all humans and we are all citizens of the world. If people began to internalize that the opposite of love is not only hate, but that it is also indifference, perhaps bigotry could not take place.
Article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaimed by the UN states: “Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”
The question of the right to protect ourselves from any kind of terrorist attack is dismissed when it includes entire specific nations. The examples are many. Thousands of refugees are trying to escape the massacre and terror. People who have lived and worked here for many years that happened to be on a business or vacation trip are now not allowed to enter. Imagine that you work here, you became a citizen here, your family and kids live here. Now you cannot enter because you happened to be overseas when the executive order was announced. Stories of kids with dramatic illness conditions that require urgent treatment here and whose status are as refugees are also in the same non-enter order. Hence, this executive order comes against human rights and the treatment of minorities.
There is a common desire of experiencing and learning global management between T-birds. Thunderbird’s mission is “educate global leaders who create sustainable prosperity worldwide.” Now, the word needs more global leaders, and we must speak out. History will write about what happened these days and I do believe we have a responsibility for standing up for our beliefs of globalization and inclusion, and to support each other and not become indifferent to these matters. We, as international students, have concerns about our safety and career path, among others. Getting internships or job opportunities is harder than before. Also, the fact that some of us cannot go to visit family on spring break is very heartbreaking. Incredible people, professionals with a hunger to develop themselves and our world, we have a responsibility to stand up for what is right.
As I was writing this article, I entered our website. Once you open it, it states, “Stand out in a world of possibilities.” Sure, each person creates his or her own destiny. But possibilities can increase if we support to each other, use our networking, and help international students. So, stand out and support to each other. We are here, we will always be here, and we will not back down.