Muslim Activists Protest New Bill Banning Foreign Students from Public Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts

May 29, 2003


On May 29, 2003 the Boston Herald reported that "Bay State students who hail from seven terrorism-sponsoring nations would be summarily ejected from public colleges and universities under a new Republican bill that sparked accusations of a witch hunt from Islamic activists and civil libertarians... The bill, which faces an uphill battle through the House and Senate, would deny a taxpayer-funded education to citizens of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea and Sudan... Islamic activists protested that the bill smacks of an anti-Muslim witch hunt... UMass officials reacted coolly, saying the school takes `tremendous pride' in its international students while noting that federal civil rights law bans discrimination over national origin. The university has complied fully with new federal rules requiring schools to track foreign students, officials said. 'We're very cognizant of those (security) responsibilities, but also cognizant of the rights people have once they enter the United States,' said UMass spokesman Robert Connolly."