The statement issued by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement will possibly affect thousands of international students who move to the US to attend universities or participate in various training programs.
The US government has asked international students pursuing degrees in the country to depart. The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a statement mentioning that foreign students studying in universities that have shifted to online teaching will have to risk deportation.
The statement issued on Monday night will possibly affect thousands of international students who move to the US to attend universities or participate in various training programs.
As a measure to withstand the COVID-19 pandemic, various universities across the United States are beginning to make the transition to online courses. At Harvard University, all course instructions will now be given online, including for students living on campus.
A statement released by Harvard University president Larry Bacow said, “We are deeply concerned that the guidance issued today by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement imposes a blunt, one-size-fits-all approach to a complex problem giving international students, particularly those in online programs, few options beyond leaving the country or transferring schools."
In the press release, ICE suggested the international students enrolled in the US to consider transferring to other schools with in-person classes. The release further mentioned that the U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students whose college will offer online courses only from the upcoming semester. Threatening to remove from the country, ICE has strictly asked to comply with the new rules.
Theresa Cardinal Brown, director of immigration and cross-border policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said, “These are not some fly-by-night universities, these aren't scams, these are legit universities who would normally have in-person curricula but for coronavirus.”
The latest US federal guidance leaves the international students with an uncomfortable choice as many colleges across the United States are contemplating what their upcoming semester would look like.
According to the 2019 data, around 5.5% of the students enrolled in the US were foreigners contributing around over $41 billion.
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