Massive outrage erupted nationwide and at UC Santa Cruz, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order restricting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries. On early Thursday morning, about 50 students gathered at Quarry Plaza and marched across campus to join other UC campuses and the world in protest.
The order suspended all refugee admission for 120 days, barred all Syrian refugees indefinitely and restricted travel for 90 days from seven Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Visa holders were detained at airports, tens of thousands of people were forced to suspend travels to the U.S. and there was little time to organize formal political and legal responses.
Sabina Wildman, a second-year student and member of the Muslim Student Association (MSA) at UCSC, organized the protest at the last minute and was able to find support though MSA and Student Organization Advising & Resources.
“We need to do something about this,” said Wildman. “I wanted to know that there were people out there who supported how I was feeling, felt similarly or who [were] going to stand with me and my family and other Muslim people all over the world.”
As of Feb. 3, U.S. District of Western Washington Judge James Robart put a temporary restraining order on the travel ban when Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson challenged it. Ferguson said it violated the constitutional rights of immigrants and their families, as it appears to be specifically targeting Muslims.
The executive order is now in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, where judges have heard oral arguments, but have not declared a ruling on the executive order as of Wednesday morning. The order may go to the U.S. Supreme Court once they make a ruling.
During the on-campus protest, students were encouraged to introduce themselves to the person beside them, and many shared feelings of fear and uncertainty.
As one student protester said in the discussion, “I thought about the Martin Luther King Jr. quote, ‘Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that,’ and that’s real and I hear you and I see all of you [have to] be here for each other.”