It only took a few days for hundreds of University of Evansville students to sign a petition pleading with the university to stand up for Middle Eastern refugees, following President Donald Trump’s temporary travel ban.
On Monday, the university answered thee call, issuing a statement in support of refugees, and all of it its foreign students.
USI also came out in support of refugees. On Tuesday, one USI grad is embarking on a mission to help people he calls his friends.
“I knew this was something i wanted to do, probably about a little over a year ago now,” Todd Born said.
The 26-year-old has a passion for helping others. He just got back from Clarkston, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta, described by some as the most diverse square mile in the United States. Now, he’s going back.
“Right now indefinitely. I’m not sure, maybe a year,” Born said.
More than 60 different nationalities make up Clarkston’s population, many of them refugees.
“My heart was burdened for just, especially Arab Muslims, and just them coming here, and what is going on with the refugee crisis right now,” Born said.
Born helps refugees find jobs, and acclimate to American culture.
Now he says his job is to help comfort people who aren’t sure about when they’ll see their families next- following President’s Trump’s executive order.
“It makes them think, like ok, well, am i safe? And also, some of them still have family back over in Syria, that they’re waiting and hoping to come over here. And so now they have to worry about that,” Born said.
On UE’s campus students explain why they made the decision to sign a petition to support refugees.
“We just wanted us to step forward and reaffirm our beliefs and say yes this is something we are willing to fight for,” said student Anna Ahrens.
In a statement, UE officials say the move contradicts the values of openness that support the university’s educational mission.
“Terrorist groups is general are small groups with very limited capabilities, but they claim to represent a much broader population. And the best thing that a government can do to help the terrorist groups recruit, is to treat that broader population as terrorists,” said Dr. Richard Maass, Assistant Professor of Political Science.
As born gets ready to head back to Clarkston, he’s focused on his goal: ensuring his friends feel at home, but the political talk surrounding the country is hard to ignore.
“I think we should welcome everybody to this country, yes, but there’s, part of government’s job is to look out for the safety and security of our country.
I see that’s where Trump is coming from, I see that. Now, do i agree fully with him putting the ban on? Maybe not, but I understand where he’s coming from,” Born said.