Students and faculty join nationwide protest against Trump's immigration ban

Protesters gathered outside Hayden Library to stand against President Donald Trump's 90-day immigration ban

Students and faculty stood in solidarity with the Muslim community on Tempe campus Thursday, sending a message to President Donald Trump's administration.

Those gathered on Hayden Lawn held signs that read “Don’t Be Afraid to Speak Up,” “Education Knows No Limits," and "I Stand With My Students." ASU professors took turns speaking out against the controversial executive order signed by Trump halting immigration from seven countries with large Muslim populations. 

The protest was one of 52, held at universities across the country Thursday at noon. Many protesters in the crowd wore white to show their support, in unison with protests around the country hosted by Academics United. 

At ASU alone, 180 students who hail from one of the countries named in the ban are being affected, according to The Arizona Republic.

H.L.T. Quan, a professor in the School of Transformation, said the order could be the start of a tyranny.

“This is the making of a tyrannical regime, and we have to prepare ourselves," Quan said. "Tyrants and tyrannical regimes often fall for a reason."

Quan said students and faculty should be proud they attend ASU, one of the most diverse universities in the nation. 

“It isn’t just about going to political rallies but being proud that we are members of a university that is an open community that cherishes free exchange of ideas from different kind of people," she said. "We take pride in the fact that the campus is ranked as well as it is — not because it excludes but because it includes.” 

The group's Facebook event said the protest's mission was "to shine a light on the impact of this action on thousands of honest and ambitious students."

Nariman Mahabadi Mahabad, a postdoctoral civil engineering researcher, said he will receive his Ph.D in the spring and this ban means his family might not be able to attend his upcoming graduation ceremony. 

“My graduation was about three months ago, and my parents went to the U.S. embassy outside of our country to get their visa," Mahabad said. "They are still waiting for their visas, so I postponed my graduation to this May, but it looks like with this ban they wont be able to come to U.S. to visit me."

The crowd was filled with international students. One student even held a sign that said, “I Miss My Parents.”

But not all students supported the rally's message.

Trevor Leahy, a civil engineering senior, said he disagreed with the speakers and the event.

“I felt that the arguments and statements presented at the rally were overly simplistic and naive,” Leahy said. “I felt it was deeply hypocritical to criticize our ban on those seven countries when those seven countries have a ban on Israeli Jews, as well as the human rights violations that take place in Iran, Iraq and Somalia."

Hours after the rally on campus, a federal appeals court ruled to maintain a freeze on the 90-day immigration ban, issued by Trump. 

Trump responded on Twitter directly following the ruling.

Correction: An earlier version of this article contained an error in the caption of the article's lead photograph. President Trump's executive order halted travel from seven Muslim majority countries.

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