Mass. Student Concerned Education at Risk With Travel Ban | NECN
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Mass. Student Concerned Education at Risk With Travel Ban

Waqas Dirar fears if he goes home to Saudi Arabia, he would not be allowed back into the country because he holds a passport from Sudan

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    Waqas Dirar, a second year student studying electrical engineering at Mass Bay Community College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, fears he won’t be able to finish his education. (Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017)

    “I am concerned that my education will be at risk,” said 19-year-old Waqas Dirar, a second year student studying electrical engineering at Mass Bay Community College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

    Dirar is a citizen of Sudan, but he was born and raised in Saudi Arabia and his family still lives there.

    Dirar said, “I am only a resident, so I have to go there every year to renew my residency, my re-entry visa.”

    Dirar fears if he goes home to Saudi Arabia, he would not be allowed back into the country because he holds a passport from Sudan – one of the seven countries covered by President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

    He said, “I am also concerned that if I do choose to stay until I finish my education, my residency in Saudi Arabia will be lost and I will not be able to go back there.”

    And Dirar is not alone.

    “We have about a hundred international students who are here on visas and they’ve been concerned,” said Mass Bay Community College Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Management Lisa Slavin.

    Slavin says it’s hard to offer these students guidance when there is so much uncertainty surrounding the executive order.

    “These students they followed the proper protocol, they were issued visas, they want to study in the United States,” said Slavin.

    As for Dirar, he has until May to renew his residency back home.

    He said, “I was supposed to book a ticket but I still haven’t because I don’t know what I’m going to do.” 

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