This College Responded To Trump's Travel Ban By Offering A Refugee Scholarship

Wheaton College said its intention was to counter the "divisive message" of Trump's refugee ban.

Wheaton College — a liberal arts college in Massachusetts —responded to President Trump's travel ban by offering a full scholarship to a refugee fleeing conflict, with special preference to applicants from the seven countries listed in the ban.

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In a statement on Jan. 31, president, Dennis M. Hanno, announced that the college would offer a full scholarship to a student refugee from a war-torn country with special preference to applicants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

Hanno said that his intention was to counter the "divisive message" of Trump's executive order on immigration which temporarily suspended the country's refugee program and banned travelers from the seven Muslim-majority countries.

The State Department and the Department of Homeland Security on Saturday suspended enforcement of the ban after a federal judge temporarily blocked its visa and refugee provisions on Friday.

The college said that it would give preference to students seeking entrance to the US if the recent ban was lifted, or would seek to identify qualified refugee students from these countries or other war-torn nations, currently living in the US.

It will also waive its $65 application fee for the candidates.

"This new policy implies that international students are neither needed nor wanted," Hanno said. "This is false, and we must counter that divisive message."

Wheaton urged other colleges and universities to join them in "making a clear statement about the importance of diversity and openness on our campuses."