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UC Davis Rallies in Support of Academics Affected by Travel Ban

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DAVIS -- Huddled under umbrellas in the center of the UC Davis Campus, students and faculty members stood in solidarity with those who have been directly affected by President Donald Trump's travel ban.

"This is about Americans as much as it is about Iranians, Syrians, Iraqis and all of those seven countries," said graduate student and event organizer Ellie White.

Last month the president issued a temporary ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The campus community rallied in support of international students who are concerned about what the future may hold under the Trump administration.

"My hopes to go back to Iran are kind of halted for the next four years I think," said Iranian UC Davis Student Donya Foley.

Foley is a citizen but says things have been emotional for her family from Iran -- a country included in the executive order.

"It's sad that I have family that would not be able to come back right now or are scared to come back," Foley said.

"I think we each have to think 'what can I do to make a difference?'" said research Professor Koen Van Rampay.

Professors like Van Rampay spoke at the rally, expressing concerns that future talented academics may be in jeopardy.

"We really fear that because of the executive order many talented researchers from other countries will not be able to come to the country," said Van Rampay.

"It affects academics the most," White said.

White helped organize the event to show international students from the countries included in the executive order that they are not alone and fellow students and professors have their backs.

"I have been losing many hours of sleep, we want to help you, we want to reach out to you," said Van Rampay.

Still some on campus are less critical of the travel ban and the Trump administration.

"I think what would really be best for america right now is to set aside the labels and really look at the facts," said student Blaine Thomas.

UC Davis was one of 42 universities nationwide that held rallies Thursday.