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Oklahoma university presidents, Thunder players among those addressing Trump’s immigration executive order

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OKLAHOMA – A couple of Oklahoma university presidents and Thunder players are among those addressing President Donald Trump’s immigration executive order.

Friday, Trump’s executive order banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for 90 days as well as refugees for 120.

Saturday, part of the executive order was halted by a judge in federal court in New York.

Many have spoken out about the executive order, protesting around the country.

Now, Oklahomans are responding, as well.

University of Oklahoma President David Boren released a statement Sunday, saying:

“We are monitoring the developments in U.S. immigration policy resulting from President Trump’s new executive order. Dean Suzette Grillot and the College of International Studies staff have been in contact with students who originated from the seven countries affected by the executive order.

Our understanding of this executive order continues to evolve as federal officials release more information.Our strong recommendation to persons who might be affected by the executive order is to refrain from traveling outside of the United States if they are already here, or try to return to the United States as soon as possible if currently outside of the country.

The University affirms its support for all faculty, staff and students who may be affected by these developments. I especially want to reiterate our strong support for our international students, who are valued members of our university family. Bringing international students to study in our country helps build lasting friendships with people all around the world. Those who study in our country become persuasive and articulate friends of the United States when they return to their home countries. When we reduce the opportunities for young people to come to America to take advantage of the educational opportunities here, we not only harm them, but we also damage the image and inspiration of America around the world.”

Oklahoma State University President Burns Hargis also released a statement Sunday, saying:

“Oklahoma State University is concerned about the recent executive order restricting re-entry into the United States for citizens of certain countries. The order has created confusion as well as anxiety throughout our country and on our campus. Many of our faculty, staff and students come from across the globe. International diversity provides perspectives, experiences and opportunities that enrich the classroom experiences at our university and prepare our students to work in a global community.

Our international student center will be reaching out to international students, faculty and staff who may be affected by this order. We will work with our legal advisors and our Oklahoma political leaders to determine our options to support our international community at Oklahoma State.

As President of Oklahoma State, I encourage all to work together in support of our international community, which through the years has greatly enhanced the OSU land-grant mission and our campus experience.”

Thunder player Nazr Mohammed tweeted Saturday, saying “It’s a tough day when u find out that so many ppl that u thought were fans or friends really hate u and everything u believe in.”

Sunday, Mohammed took to Twitter again to show his appreciation for “all the love and support” in response.

Thunder player Enes Kanter also tweeted Saturday, saying “Make America Kind Again” and to express his “disbelief about the #MuslimBan.”

Senator James Lankford released a statement Sunday, as well:

Sunday, Trump responded to the nationwide controversy in another statement, saying:

“America is a proud nation of immigrants and we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression, but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border. America has always been the land of the free and home of the brave.

We will keep it free and keep it safe, as the media knows, but refuses to say. My policy is similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months. The seven countries named in the Executive Order are the same countries previously identified by the Obama administration as sources of terror. To be clear, this is not a Muslim ban, as the media is falsely reporting.

This is not about religion – this is about terror and keeping our country safe. There are over 40 different countries worldwide that are majority Muslim that are not affected by this order. We will again be issuing visas to all countries once we are sure we have reviewed and implemented the most secure policies over the next 90 days.

I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria. My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering.”

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