Sunday, June 16, 2024

Editorial: Student deportations set harmful precedent

A sign is held by a protester during a protest against war in Iran at The Rock on campus on January 10, 2020.
A sign is held by a protester during a protest against war in Iran at The Rock on campus on January 10, 2020.

The deportation of Alireza Yazdani Esfidajani should be condemned. He was denied the opportunity to be a Spartan simply because of his national origin. 

Every member of our community is valuable and deserves to be here. So do the other Iranian students deported from schools across the nation — of which there are at least 15 — even after achieving visas that require a thorough vetting process.

Esfidajani followed the protocols of our ever-changing, unpredictable, confusing and flawed immigration system.

After hours of paperwork, money spent on travel arrangements and energy poured into making life plans to further his education, he — along with the other students — were denied at the last second. The hopelessness, anguish and fear Esfidajani and others in his situation are now experiencing as a result is unfair and cruel.  

His deportation is incredibly damaging for our community because of the chilling message it sends to prospective international students as well as current students. And it doesn’t matter what he would have contributed to our community as an intelligent, hardworking and promising PhD student — what matters is how an opportunity he deserved to have was taken away from him. 

He didn’t need to make a grand impact on our campus and on academia as a whole to be missed. He will be missed no matter what. 

Deporting students based on a political conflict between our country and another is a devastating precedent to set, and we should strive to do a better job at fighting for international student voices on campus. 

Everyone deserves the opportunity to add to their life in a way they best see fit. Not only is their potential for personal growth subdued and denied by deportations — they have lost the chance at beginning a new chapter of their life. And they paid the ultimate price for their own missed opportunity.

Our community should be an inviting and accepting one. Now, students in Iran might read a headline about this Michigan State student’s deportation and no longer desire to make the journey to become a part of this community. We have all lost our chance at experiencing a priceless cultural exchange. 

This shouldn’t have happened, and it shouldn’t continue to happen. These unjust deportations have to end.

The State News Editorial Board is composed of Editor-in-Chief Madison O’Connor, Managing Editor Mila Murray, Copy Chief Alan Hettinger, Campus Editor Evan Jones, City Editor Haley Sinclair, Sports Editor Chase Michaelson, Photo Editor Annie Barker, Multimedia Editor Tessa Osborne, Social Media and Engagement Editor Wolfgang Ruth, Staff Representative Maddie Monroe and Diversity and Inclusion Representative Chandra Fleming.

Support student media! Please consider donating to The State News and help fund the future of journalism.


Share and discuss “Editorial: Student deportations set harmful precedent” on social media.