Trump Ban Harms Missions, Creates Uncertainty for Students

The Trump administration is rewriting the executive ban on immigration which was suspended by the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The ban indirectly affects international missions, and one Cedarville student will not be returning home for the foreseeable future.

Because of the uncertainty created by the ban, Eman Nagib, a junior information technology major from Sudan plans to remain in the United States.

“I was advised by the advisor for international students not to go back home, especially not this summer, just in case,” Nagib said. “It’s hard, but the friends that I have here make Cedarville my second home. I miss my parents, but I have a family here, too.”

The ban, as previously written, consisted of a 90-day travel prohibition on the people from the seven countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen; a reduction in the immigration quota from 110,000 to 50,000; a 120-day ban on refugee resettlement from all countries; and a ban on all Syrian refugees indefinitely.  All of these were suspended by the courts, which questioned its constitutionality and argued that it would cause travelers “irreparable harm.”

Trump stated on Twitter that he would defend the original ban’s constitutionality in court. However, the ban will likely be rewritten rather than battled in the courts,according to NBCNews. The new order will be more narrowly tailored, so it no longer affects green-card holders, and could be signed as early as this week.

Though the ban will affect Nagib personally, she understands its motivation.

“Refugees and immigrants lives are important, but so are American lives,” Nagib said. “If it was a permanent thing and not a temporary thing, I might be questioning it, but I really support that they just want to establish a good system.”

A major concern for the Christian community is how this ban will affect international missions and missionaries, as reactions from Middle Eastern countries are not positive.

Brian Nester, director for Global Outreach at Cedarville University, believes the main effects will be increased difficulty for Americans to get visas, a process that is already quite laborious. He foresees concerns over travel for short and long-term missionaries, and for that reason, Cedarville will not be sending any students to those seven countries in the near future. However, he sees no reason to give up hope or give up attempting to reach these countries.

“God and the power of the gospel are not restricted by human politics or policies,” Nester said.

Nagib said she believes not much will change in the status quo for international missions because many of the seven countries are already hostile to missions, if not closed to them entirely.

“The only way I can see that this ban will affect missions is that the refugees and immigrants will be unable to come here and get a chance to hear the gospel,” Nagib said. “In that sense, it’s more limiting.”

Though the ban will affect refugee resettlement, Cedarville students are still involved in ministry, namely at the Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley in Dayton, which assists with job training and material needs for refugees, among supplying other needs

Nester said he believes reaching out to immigrants and refugees who are already here is crucial in this time period, and that it is a great opportunity for ministry.
“I think we need to really exemplify Christ’s love, and not be judgmental of people,” Nester said. “We’re all sinners saved by grace.  Our job is to reach the lost, whether they’re here or they’re visiting here or moving here, or in whatever countries we go to.”


Alexandria Hentschel is a freshman international studies major and an off-campus news writer for Cedars. She enjoys old books, strong coffee, and honest debate.

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