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102 UW-Milwaukee students affected by Trump's ban
Posted: 9:39 PM, Jan 30, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-31 12:45:33Z
Colleges around the country are trying to ease the fears of international students. At UW-Milwaukee, 102 students are directly impacted by President Donald Trump's immigration ban.
"I don't know what's going to happen," says Mahmoud Alchamaa, who's studying to be a doctor.
Alchamaa, 21, is Muslim. Four years ago, he left war-torn Syria to live with his uncle in Milwaukee.
"I came to try and save my life," Alchamaa says. "I had to leave my parents to come here. The Syrian regime was targeting young men. Just shooting them in the street."
He carries photos of the family and friends he left behind.
"It's hard for me because I can't see my family anymore," he says.
According to UW-Milwaukee enrollment numbers from the start of the school year, Alchamaa is one of seven students from Syria. There's also one student from Iraq, and 94 students from Iran. All of them are very worried about their futures here, and their families back home.
"If a family member gets sick, or there's an emergency, they can't go home," Alchamaa says. "They would leave the country and not be allowed re-entry. Even if you have a green card, it's risky now. We might get kicked-out. The university has been trying to comfort us, telling us it's going to be fine. But it's very difficult. It's hard to focus on school."
In this difficult time, Alchamaa is trying to focus on the lesson he's learned through his own journey from Syria to Milwaukee. "It's not about religion, or where you're from, or your skin color," he says. "It's about humans. We are all humans."
UW-Milwaukee's Center for International Education is working to help these students navigate the new rules and gather information. The university is holding a meeting tomorrow with all of its students from Muslim-majority countries. On Friday, there will be a meeting with all international students.
Meanwhile, many faculty members and students showing support on social media using the hashtag #youarewelcomehere.
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