• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Photo: Headshot of Rich Barlow, an older white man with dark grey hair and wearing a grey shirt and grey-blue blazer, smiles and poses in front of a dark grey backdrop.

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 8 comments on Trump Administration Drops Plan to Deny Visas to Some International Students

  1. Great news. It proved that reason can still be useful.

    It wasn’t “xenophobic,” by the way. It was a countermove towards those movements trying to keep everything closed which is irrational.

    School and universities must reopen with caution.

    1. It was definitely xenophobic, countermove or stumble or 3D chess or whatever else it could be called.

      Schools and universities must reopen with caution.

  2. No, it wasn’t.

    It was not xenophobic when the policy targeted all international students from all colors and backgrounds. Xenophobic comes from xeno [foreign; other] + phobia [fear]. Both, for example, British and Asian were targeted simultaneously. I don’t think British and Canadian look like “other” to the current administration. And in reality, you can’t easily distinguish between Canadians and Americans. Xenophobic means fear from others who do not look like us, and exists in all cultures.

    School and universities must reopen with caution.

    1. That’s not even approaching true though, the definition of xenophobia is a fear, prejudice or hatred of foreigners or foreign things.
      Your made up etymological definition even betrays you, when you reference the word “xeno” referring to foreign things.
      As well, the administration has repeatedly demonstrated that it differentiates heavily between America and Europe/Canada, in criticizing NAFTA, NATO and propping up the phrase America first.
      I don’t get how you start an argument with dissecting xenophobia as “foreign/strange + fear” then detail how the policy attacks all foreign people, then say it isn’t xenophobic because some of those foreign people are white

    2. As others have pointed out, xenophobia is, by dictionary (CED) definition, “showing an extreme dislike or fear of people from foreign countries,” which aligns perfectly with a policy that specifically targets and disadvantages people from foreign countries on the basis of their citizenship.

      Furthermore, while you might not be able to easily distinguish between Canadians and Americans, I can guarantee you that the US federal government most assuredly can and does.


    You are both wrong. I know it is difficult for you to understand this when you are biased by your politics, but let me try.

    xeno- (Greek ξενο-) means “guest, stranger, foreign, strange.” Your problem is that you understand “foreign” based on current international border and league of nations definitions. Xeno harks back to Greek language when “foreign” did not mean what it means today [so funny INTERNATIONALE understands it as “citizenship” which is very new term]. In Greece, xeno-, when terms like foreign and country did not exist, understood as stranger, someone who does not look like us and does not speak our language. You can’t understand an old notion with new terms, if you do, then you misunderstand the crux of the matter.

    As I said, British, Canadian, Dutch, and other western European people do not look like “stranger and foreign [= from Latin fores = “outside”]” to American in general and the current administration.

    Based on your definition, then Dutch to Germans, Czechs to Slovaks, and British and Canadian to American look like “stranger” which is obviously not true. Asians and Middle Easterners, however, look like “strangers” to Europeans and Americans.

    Hey INTERNATIONALE, speaking of Canadians, they are the only nationals who do not need visa to come to the U.S. and can stay without any limits. You’re wrong here as well.

    And J, the current administration critique of NAFTA and NATO has nothing to do with xeno. It was based economic problems; you may disagree with it, but that does not mean the current administration criticized them based on xenophobia. This doesn’t make sense when you take into account many contracts that the current administration has made with China, South America, and other “foreign” countries. Thinking is a good thing; try it.

    Just read what you have written and compare with my arguments.

    Good luck to both of you.

    Schools and universities must reopen with caution.

  4. Hi.. I have a question. while we are now clear that students will not be deported if taking online classes only, does this also mean that these students need not be physically present in the US but can continue their learning through LfA and still retain their F1/SEVIS status? I am not keen to send my daughter back till the curve flattens more. Also trying to prevent her from taking a 14 hors flight to BOS.

    Any information on this will be bery helpful.

  5. I second the last question: it is urgent for us, international students who are in our home countries since March-April due to the pandemic, to know if we would keep our F-1 visas in case we take Fall 2020 classes fully online.

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