UNC-CH student from Yemen fears executive order puts his education at risk
Posted February 1
Chapel Hill, N.C. — People at a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill forum Wednesday night learned a lot about navigating the immigration system but, despite the president’s executive order, campus leaders and law enforcement said they do not plan to crack down on immigration enforcement.
Students at UNC-Chapel Hill are worried about what President Donald Trump’s executive orders on immigration could mean for them.
“The concern is the federal government could basically use it to pick up about whoever they wanted to,” said Lynn Calder.
The Wednesday night forum aimed to educate those concerned. The crowd applauded local law enforcement officials from the Chapel Hill Police Department, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Carrboro Police Department and the Attorney General’s Office who said they do not ask about or keep records regarding immigration status.
A UNC official said they do not volunteer the information either. Other speakers at the forum advised the crowd on how to avoid deportation.
“If an ICE officer comes to the door, the person behind the door has a right to remain silent,” Calder said.
Speakers also discouraged travel, especially to border towns along the southern border of the U.S., or ending up in the court system for even minor issues.
Walid Al’Soneider, a Fulbright scholar and PhD student at UNC-Chapel Hill said he is in the United States legally but his home, Yemen, is among seven countries where immigration is frozen by Trump’s order.
“I am kind of concerned about this decision and the ramification that might happen,” he said.
Al’Sodeider said he appreciates the American people and their choice in the presidential election, but he is worried about his ability to continue studying in the country.
“We just don’t know what might happen next, so my concern is actually that I just want to make sure my family is safe and nothing is going to happen,” he said.