VCU students concerned after President Trump’s immigration order

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RICHMOND, Va. -- On Sunday, hundreds of protesters gathered at Virginia Commonwealth University where they spoke passionately in opposition to President Trump's immigration executive order.

The order bans visa and green card holders from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days.

Mohammad Khan, President of the Muslim Student Association at VCU, was among those in attendance Sunday.

“Everything we've been seeing, it's just a smack in the face," said Khan.

The student said a large population of VCU's international students come from the Middle East and are here legally on visas or green cards to study.

Mohammad Khan

Mohammad Khan

"They've spent four or five years here and this is happening and they might not be able to graduate at VCU," he added.

Khan said many of these students are now scared for their future.

"They don't want to go back overseas and if they are overseas, they don't want to take a plane back because they might not be able to come back again," he said.

Similar concerns are echoing on college campuses across the country.

“I know the feeling,” said American University Student Dau Doldol, who is a Dual citizen of the US and the Sudan.

"If it weren't for America, I don't know where I’d be… I don't know where my family would be," he said.

Dau Doldol

Dau Doldol

In an email Monday, VCU president Michael Rao reassured students, faculty and staff that the university was seeking guidance from the State Attorney General and standing in support of the international community.

“We are very closely monitoring developments and have sought direct guidance from the state Attorney General’s Office on the range of issues and deep concerns affecting our students, faculty, staff and community that may stem from the order,” Rao said in an email. “Virginia Attorney General Herring has issued a public statement indicating that he is working with the governor to explore “any options we may have to oppose this un-American, discriminatory, and misguided action.”

But Rao did advise those from the restricted countries to avoid non-essential travel outside the country for the time being.

Khan said the email offered some reassurance during this trying time.

"So this was something uplifting - that we're not alone in this - there are people here at VCU who are going to fight for us and be there for us."

VCU is encouraging students with any concerns to contact their Global Education Office of Immigration Services at 804-828-8471.