One University of Maryland graduate student stuck abroad is scrambling to return to the United States to continue his studies for spring semester while Trump’s travel ban remains on hold.
Abubakr Suliman Eltayeb Mohamed Hamid, an engineering doctoral student, works for the Language House as a live-in Arabic language teacher. But since traveling to his home country of Sudan during winter break, he has been unable to come back.
Trump signed an executive order Jan. 27 blocking citizens of seven countries — Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and Yemen — from entering the United States for 90 days. The order also suspends the entry of refugees for 120 days, and suspends the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely.
A federal judge in Seattle temporarily suspended the ban on Sunday, allowing for a lawsuit filed by Washington state and Minnesota that claims key parts of the order are unconstitutional. A panel of appeals court judges heard arguments on whether to reinstate the ban Tuesday, and officials say a decision is expected within the week.
Hamid’s student visa had expired while he was abroad, and he was in the process of renewing it when the executive order went into place. Now, he is continuing to work on renewing his visa and coming back to the United States so he can continue with his studies, said Garrett Bradford, the Graduate Student Government’s vice president for committee affairs who has been in contact with Hamid since the ban came into effect.
He can return to this country so long as he gets his visa and reaches an airport in the United States before the ban is put back in place — if the court decides to reinstate it, Bradford said. Bradford said Hamid is grateful for all the support he has received from the campus community.
Hamid is one of thousands of people who the ban has affected.
About 350 people from this university — mostly graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and visiting scholars — are experiencing repercussions from the order, university President Wallace Loh wrote in a message to the campus community on Jan. 31.
One student from this university, who is a green card holder, was detained at Washington Dulles International Airport with her 5-year-old cousin Jan. 28.
She was released after about five hours of being held. Her cousin, who was born in the U.S., was later released as well.