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International students are scrambling because of ICE’s Latest Rule

BY: Sakib Tariq

Hundreds of thousands of foreign students in the United States may be forced to leave the country or transfer schools, under new Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) guidelines released this week.

Harvard University announced its plan to deliver its classes online in the fall. Other universities across the country are preparing similar methods of teaching amidst the pandemic.

International students holding an M-1, or an F-1 visa will face deportation if their schools decide to shift all their lessons online but F-1 visa holders may continue their education in the United States. This exemption only applies to F-1 students whose colleges are preparing a mix of in-person and online lessons. However, these students are required to take some of their courses in person. Students with M-1 visas do not qualify for this exemption. If at any point, schools decide to cancel all in-person lessons for the protection of their students, F-1 visa holders will be sent home. The move left many graduate students confused, as the guidelines did not specify whether they would be affected. 

Students will find it extremely difficult to continue their studies at American universities while living abroad. Poor internet connection, time zone differences, and internet restrictions on media sites will be a concern for foreign students. 

Most universities were already worried that the pandemic will affect their revenue this upcoming fall.  This move pressures American universities to reopen since they rely on international students to pay exorbitant fees. President Donald Trump applauded the new guidelines. To display his support for them he tweeted “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!”.

ICE’s new guidelines draw the line between educators and the president’s administration. Many university faculty members are coming to the aid of international students. Some teachers are even considering creating makeshift classes to keep students enrolled and in the country. Professors are also considering having in-person lessons outdoors. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University have responded to the new guidelines with a lawsuit against the Trump Administration. The two universities have a combined number of nine thousand international students. “The present efforts by American leadership to eliminate this truly successful, strategic asset of American economic and cultural leadership is a deeply misguided mistake,” wrote Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University, in an email.

*All arguments made and viewpoints expressed within Youth In Politics and its nominal entities do not necessarily reflect the views of the writers or the organization as a whole.


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