President Donald Trump’s immigration legislation drew hundreds to the University of Alabama’s quad today, marching in silent solidarity against the executive order signed Friday.

The order prohibits citizens of several Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. over the next 90 days.

While no University of Alabama students or faculty were caught unawares abroad, UA officials say 32 university students and two faculty members would be affected by the order if they leave the U.S. and then try to return.

The silent march, organized Monday, drew at least 400 students, locals and people from around Alabama.

Soheyl Zehtyabiyan is a student at UA, but he hails from Iran and is therefore impacted by the ban.

“I always dreamed to come to the U.S., because I was thinking it’s a great country and it’s a very great opportunity for me to make my dreams great,” he said. “It was not the thing I was expecting from the U.S. government.”


Sisters Elizabeth Yon and Julia Walker are retirees, not UA students, but they said they wanted to lend their support to the cause.

“Our mother always taught us that we were no better than anyone else,” Yon said. “Just as good, but no better than anyone else in the world.”


Judith Taylor is a member of Tuscaloosa International Friends, a local group of families who help international students make their transition to life at the university and the U.S.

“We are doing everything we can to protect their right to visit their homeland and to return to their studies here at the university,” she said. “It is critical that we recognize the benefit that these young people will provide to our society and the world as they take their education and work to better mankind. ”

The march comes as many students are pushing the college’s administration toward making the university a sanctuary campus. Other colleges that have adopted the term have said their schools will not assist federal authorities in any deportation efforts involving students or faculty.

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