Wheaton College in Massachusetts has officially taken a stand against the Trump administration’s executive order banning many Muslim immigrants from entering the country. The Massachusetts school announced Tuesday it has created a scholarship to benefit refugees from the seven banned countries, according to USA Today College.
The scholarship will prioritize refugee students from the seven countries—Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen—to which the Trump executive order applies. The prize is a full ride to one student, including full tuition, room and board and expenses for four years. The scholarship deadline will be March 1, in order to give eligible students time to apply.
The private liberal arts college, which serves over 1,000 students, is the first college thus far to take such an action to encourage refugee students—though other schools have announced that they will not disclose the immigration status of their students to the Trump administration. The president of the college released a statement on Wheaton's website, asking that the country welcome immigrants and refugees. The statement reads, “The current executive order on immigration, which was signed January 27, endangers the broadly diverse learning environment that is essential to our mission… We must counter that divisive message [of the executive order].” The statement also called on other colleges to do the same and for legislators to end the ban.
The executive order, which was issued on Jan. 27, has banned Syrian refugees indefinitely and bars citizens of the seven listed countries from entering the U.S. It has also suspended new refugee admissions. The order sparked protest all over the country and the world, including at airports where travelers from the aforementioned countries were detained. The administration denies the “vetting process” as a ban, even though that's exactly what it is.