After the suspension of work visas until the end of 2020, there is another bad news for Indian immigrants in the US. According to a new set of regulations by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), foreign students attending U.S. colleges that will operate entirely online this fall semester cannot remain in the country.
ICE said it would not allow holders of students visas to remain in the country if their school was fully online for the fall. Those students must transfer or leave the country, or they potentially face deportation proceedings, according to the announcement made on Monday.
Univs going online in the US is being used by the Trump admin as a pretext for xenophobic bullying, forcible deportation of overseas students. @AOC @cmkshama
@AudreyTruschke @hasanminhaj https://t.co/pNly93zSBb
— Kavita Krishnan (@kavita_krishnan) July 7, 2020
It was not immediately clear how many student visa holders would be affected by the move, but foreign students are a key source of revenue for many US universities as they often pay full tuition.
Heart goes out to international students in the US right now. When you go abroad to study, your heart and mind are so open to new experiences. Targeting students and subjecting them to such humiliation and stress is repugnant. 😔😔
— Adt (@haanyaartension) July 7, 2020
As college students across the United States and around the world contemplate what their upcoming semester might look like, the federal guidance limits options for international students and leaves them with an uncomfortable choice: attend in-person classes during a pandemic or take them online from another country.
And for students enrolled in schools that have already announced plans to operate fully online, there is no choice. Under the new rules, the State Department will not issue them visas, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow them to enter the country.
The Trump administration is using ICE to threaten universities into teaching in person by threatening international students with deportation if they're all online. This is a death to Americans policy, in addition to a massive fuck you to intl students.https://t.co/VXS2Q4yiMA pic.twitter.com/NeK9rVrISt
— #JusticeforBreonna Prescod-Weinstein 🙅🏽♀️ (@IBJIYONGI) July 6, 2020
“Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status,” read a release from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program. “If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.”
Colleges and universities have begun to announce plans for the fall 2020 semester amid the continued coronavirus pandemic. Harvard University on Monday announced it would conduct course instruction online for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Once again, this administration is exploiting the pandemic to target even more people, simply because they are immigrants.
ICE should immediately rescind this guidance and let students continue their education. https://t.co/azQXKRcdOJ
— ACLU (@ACLU) July 6, 2020
The ICE guidance applies to holders of F-1 and M-1 visas, which are for academic and vocational students. The State Department issued 388,839 F visas and 9,518 M visas in fiscal 2019, according to the agency’s data.
The guidance does not affect students taking classes in person. It also does not affect F-1 students taking a partial online course-load, as long as their university certifies the student’s instruction is not completely digital. M-1 vocational program students and F-1 English language training program students will not be allowed to take any classes online.
berkeley students are creating a 1-unit, in-person, student-run class to help international students avoid deportation due to the new ICE regulations. love my school sometimes. pic.twitter.com/BPEAReC44j
— Sam (@trotskyplug) July 7, 2020
President Donald Trump’s administration has imposed a number of new restrictions on legal and illegal immigration in recent months as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In June, the administration suspended work visas for a wide swath of nonimmigrant workers that it argued compete with US citizens for jobs. The administration has also effectively suspended the admission of asylum seekers at the southern border with Mexico, citing coronavirus-related health risks as justification.