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International students keeping an eye on the proposed Trump travel ban

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NEW HAVEN -- In addition to concentrating in class, some local international college students are also keeping an eye on how, if at all, President Donald Trump's proposed travel and refugee ban will impact them.

Approximately 17,000 students, attending American colleges and universities, are from the seven predominantly Muslim countries President Trump has targeted for the temporary bans.

"Every day, I woke up in the morning and I thank God one million times that I am a part of this great nation," said one recent Gateway Community College graduate, who did not want his identity revealed because he's a refugee from one of the countries in question.

Trump's proposed temporary ban has caused uncertainty on campuses, including at Connecticut College, which has received a half dozen applications from students living in the targeted countries.

"Whether it's a ban that impacts six potential applicants, that's still pretty significant to us because a small school, with 1,800 students, prides itself on caring for each student," said Andy Strickler, the Dean of the Admissions and Financial Aid for Conn College. It is also the case at a larger, more global Yale.

"People are learning not to underestimate what President Trump is willing to do and also what he's capable of doing in such drastic and very quick ways," said Adriana Colon,a Yale freshman.

Some just doesn't understand why the ban is structured the way it is.

"Is it only for seven countries," asked a Gateway graduate, who asked that her identity not be revealed. "All of the terrorists are from the other countries."

One Yale student says he's concerned for a classmate of his from Iran.

"She's worried about her family," said Alex Copeland, a Yale sophomore. "She's worried about what this means for how this people are going to look at her, for how people are going to treat her."

According to the US Commerce Department, in 2015, international students contributed more than $35 billion to the US economy.

He's a sophomore political science major, who says he agrees that keeping America safe should be a priority.

"At the same time, we are a land of immigrants," said Copeland. "We are a country that has values what we've had for a long time."

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in 2015, international students contributed more than $35 billion to the US economy.