Travel ban keeps international flight students in ArizonaPosted: Updated:
Four international students at a well-known flight school in Prescott, Arizona, did not return home over spring break because of concerns about the travel bans proposed by President Donald Trump.
Andy Fraher, director of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Center for International Programs and Services, told The Daily Courier that visas don't guarantee entry and there is a possibility that the students' visas wouldn't be honored.
"The students' biggest fear is, 'What if I need to go home, if my parents are sick or for my sister's wedding?' We try to be compassionate and understanding. But we say, 'If you go, there's a chance of being denied entry back into the U.S.' The border patrol officer has total control of that decision," he said.
No Embry-Riddle student from any of the countries listed in the Trump administration's second travel ban has had to travel back into the U.S., Fraher said. The students will be able to remain in the country as long as they're enrolled and doing everything they need to do while on a student visa, he said.
"We've called the students from the affected countries and advised them of their options," Fraher said. "We try to support our students the best we can. We tell them, you're safer staying here than to visit your parents at home."
Fraher asked the four international students who stayed in Prescott over spring break to speak with the Courier, but they did not respond.
Embry-Riddle currently enrolls 189 international students from 36 countries, but that could be changing, said Fraher.
"We've lost a lot of Saudi students," Fraher said. "We just have to wait and see what happens."
He tells students to be cautious and to carry their passports and travel papers with them, even when traveling within the U.S., he said. "You never know when immigration officers will stop and ask for your papers," Fraher said.
© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.