SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - In light of recent gun violence in our nation, an international social justice organization is warning anyone planning to travel to the United States.
Amnesty International says people worldwide should exercise caution when in the U.S. and have a plan in place in case something was to happen.
Beyond how this advisory will impact things, like tourism, we wanted to get answers on how international students will be impacted as they get ready to start their school year.
Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio are just three of more than 250 mass shootings in the United States in 2019, a reality that other nations are taking notice of.
After the Dayton shooting, the countries of Japan, Uruguay, and Venezuela all issued travel warnings, alerting their citizens of the gun violence risk in the U.S.
Now, Amnesty International has done the same.
They've issued a statement cautioning people about traveling to the U.S. and is encouraging anyone who does to have an emergency plan in place.
Their advice includes:
- Being vigilant and wary of the presence of firearms
- Avoiding places where large numbers gather
- Exercising caution when visiting bars, nightclubs, or casinos
"It does hurt my heart to hear that people are being discouraged to travel here to the U.S. from their home country," Kimberly Beebe, Associate Dean of Student Success and International Students for American International College, tells us.
Beebe says, since the warnings have been issued, they haven't seen an increase in fear from their international students.
"Our new students haven't asked questions about what's going on, but they haven't really asked questions or made any comments. It doesn't seem like they are concerned with their safety," stated Beebe.
She adds, that she hopes the recent violence won't discourage other students from choosing the U.S. to gain their education.
"That's why we were established in the first place. We were a college for immigrants that what we pride our self on," added Beebe.
We also reached out to a foreign exchange student organization, Youth For Understanding, and they tell us they haven't seen any cancelations, up to this point, due to these warnings.