New immigration policies effect on local community and international students

BOWLING GREEN, Ky.- On Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed several executive orders regarding international and immigration policies.  WNKY spoke to local centers about what this means for residents in Bowling Green. 

“Today’s a new day in America, that’s a fact. No doubt about it, especially when it comes to immigration,” said Kentucky International Center Executive Director Albert Mbfanu. 

The executive orders serve to undo several initiatives from the previous administration, including lifting the travel ban from majority-Muslim countries and halting the construction on the border wall. Biden also proposed a bill allowing a path towards citizenship for undocumented immigrants. 

“By signing this executive order the president is saying that listen we are back and we are ready to do business. We are back, we are ready to lead. We are back, we want to set the example. And the first thing I want to do is to open the United States to anybody who is willing to share in the American idea,” said Mbfanu. 

Another group of people impacted in Bowling Green are Western Kentucky University international students, the number of which had decreased during the time of Trump’s administration according to John Sunnygard, Associate Provost of Global Learning and International Affairs. 

“We’ve gone down over 40% over the last four years. Prior to that, we had been increasing [the number of international students] on an annual basis, often double digits,” said Sunnygard. 

Sunnygard said the students are crucial to the climate of campus. 

“International students represent a very important part of the overall diversity and connection for our American students to the world,” said Sunnygard.