By Constance Renton
By Constance Renton
Toronto – According to a recent report, aired on a Canadian television network, the CBC, certain foreign students studying in America are feeling forced to consider relocating. The executive order barring immigration and travel from anyone originating from a list of 7 banned countries, signed January 27, is forcing scores of students to rethink where they are studying.
According to the CBC report, 30-year-old Iranian student, Saghi Saghazadeh, is currently working in the Harvard medical lab. She is just one of 20 student scientists from Iran working in the lab, which employs 100 scientists in total. The renowned laboratory attracts students and professors from around the globe.
A Definite Chill in the Air
When President Donald Trump signed an executive order on January 27, banning entry to the United States from anyone on a list of 7 “terror prone” countries, Saghazadeh and her colleagues felt an immediate shift in their lab’s climate. Until that day all conversation had been focused on scientific progress. These, after all, are the brains thinking of new ways to enhance and perfect 3D limb creation, among other discoveries.
Nowadays, however, lab conversations have been primarily about the Trump immigration ban. They all agree that they feel stuck. They cannot travel home and family members and loved ones cannot come to them. Each of them is considering other study options.
For Saghi Saghazadeh, it comes down to one question; “DO I want to be at a kick-a… scientific place but not feel welcome in the country, or do I want to be with my family and feel safe? That’s the question I am asking myself.”
An Uncertain Future and the Price Paid
The fact that a temporary stay has been granted on the executive order has not diminished the anxiety Saghazadeh and her colleagues are feeling, according to the same source. Europe, Canada and Australia have all become possible topics for discussion and consideration as new study locations.
Lab Director Ali Khademhosseini, himself an immigrant, lauds the scientific contributions made by immigrants over the years and the spirit of discovery that has driven them. “They are all here trying to get new things done and there is a strength from the diversity of all these scientists. We will probably lose that and that is sad.”