Top Universities Vow to Protect International Students from ‘Deeply Cruel’ ICE Deportation Policy


Some of America’s top universities condemned on Tuesday the announcement by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service that international students will have to leave the country or transfer if their universities choose to have only online classes in the fall , and many detailed steps they would take to protect students as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on higher education.


Schools like Harvard, Columbia, Brown, Stanford, NYU, and the University of Pennsylvania sought to reassure international students after the announcement, with Harvard and Upenn saying they would work with other institutions to chart a way forward to ensure that students “can continue.” His studies”. without fear of being forced to leave the country in the middle of the year, “in the words of Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow.

The ICE guidelines, labeled by the Association of American Universities as “profoundly wrong,” were announced Monday, and President Trump said Tuesday that he plans to pressure state governors and schools to attend classes in person this fall while criticizes schools that have decided to hold all classes online are “ridiculous” and take the “easy way out”.

NYU, which has the largest number of international students in the US, and Brown announced Tuesday that their fall plans, following a hybrid model that combines face-to-face and online classes, would accommodate vulnerable international students, while Stanford , who otherwise planned to hold many or mostly online classes in the fall, said she will help all of her students complete their degrees while urging the administration to rethink its decision.

Columbia University told its student body Tuesday that it would host hybrid classes with face-to-face and distance learning opportunities that “would alleviate the negative effect of these new regulations,” in addition to offering emerging learning centers for students who cannot return to Columbia. and vigorously oppose “harmful” immigration policies

Meanwhile, Princeton, MIT, Duke and Dartmouth said everything. Forbes They are reviewing the potential impacts of the policy and highlighted the importance of their international students.

The Association of American Universities, an organization comprised of 65 top-tier research universities, issued a statement Tuesday in which AAU President Mary Sue Coleman strongly urged the administration to rescind the “immensely wrong” orientation and provide temporary flexibility that allows international students to “participate in the range of in-person, online, and hybrid instruction that institutions are implementing in light of the pandemic and its local conditions.”

Critical boss

“This policy change would also have negative economic impacts, because international students spend millions of dollars in our communities every year,” the AAU statement read. “It is also likely to cause further damage to our nation’s universities, which are already struggling with unprecedented uncertainty, massive logistical complications, and significant financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Big number: $ 41 billion

The amount of money that the more than one million international students in the US contributed to the economy in the 2018-2019 academic year, according to CNBC.

Key background

ICE’s new policy states that international students with non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visas cannot stay in the US or legally enter the US if their classes are online, with the recommendation of that students in online-only schools should “[transfer] to a school with in-person instruction to remain lawful. “In schools that offer a hybrid of online and in-person classes, students can remain in the country if it is certified that” they are not taking a fully online course this semester. “Violations of these policies will lead to” immigration consequences, “including the” initiation of expulsion proceedings. “Many universities have hesitated to announce a return to campus for the fall due to the worsening of the coronavirus pandemic. Most of the plans announced so far opt for a hybrid model that would send half of the students back to campus and would be highly dependent on online classes.

Further reading

“Harvard, Princeton will bring some students to campus in the fall, but it will no longer look like before” (Forbes)

“ICE Says Foreign Students Can’t Go To College Alone Online This Fall, Despite Pandemic” (Forbes)