For Immediate Release

Washington, January 31, 2020 — Today, President Trump announced an expansion of restrictions on immigrants from Eritrea, Kyrgyzstan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Sudan and Tanzania who are trying to come to the United States, bringing the total number of countries affected by a travel ban to 13. The following is a statement by Dr. Esther D. Brimmer, Executive Director and CEO of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

“As international educators committed to fostering a peaceful, more welcoming United States, we are deeply disturbed by this latest travel ban expansion and the message it sends: that the United States is not a place that welcomes or respects people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives; or to put it simply, America is closing.

“Although international students are reportedly not restricted from entering the U.S. with this latest iteration of the travel ban, the combined effect of this policy expansion and the message it sends will undoubtedly accelerate the alarming decline of international students in the U.S.— more than 10 percent over the last three years. Policies like these and the unwelcoming rhetoric from some of our nation’s leaders continue to hinder our ability to succeed in today’s global competition for talent.

“More than 17,000 international students and scholars from these six countries studied in the U.S. last year, generating approximately $619 million in economic activity. While some may claim that by preventing legitimate travel from these countries is a necessary precaution to keep the nation safe; foreign policy leaders for decades have agreed that true security lies in understanding the nature of specific threats and focusing on individuals who mean to cause us harm—not in preventing entire nationalities from entering the United States.”

More information about the ban and NAFSA resources may be found at


Sample tweet: The #TravelBan sends the message that the U.S. does not welcome or respect people of diverse backgrounds & perspectives. True security lies in understanding specific threats & focusing on individuals who mean to cause us harm—not in barring entire nationalities.

About NAFSA: Serving more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide, NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. Visit us at To learn more about our advocacy efforts on behalf of international education, visit Resources to guide our members on these issues can be found at