New ICE Policy on International Students and Online-Only Classes is ‘Cruel’

By  //  July 8, 2020

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"This ICE policy is immensely misguided and deeply cruel to the tens of thousands" - Mary Sue Coleman

The following is a statement from the Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman about the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s recent policy requiring international students to take in-person classes to keep their visa status. (AAU image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The following is a statement from the Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman about the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s recent policy requiring international students to take in-person classes to keep their visa status.

This ICE policy is immensely misguided and deeply cruel to the tens of thousands of international students who come to the United States every year.

It is also likely to do further damage to our nation’s universities, which are already struggling with unprecedented uncertainty, massive logistical complications, and significant financial losses due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In particular, the impact on international graduate students and undergraduate students already in the United States will be devastating, causing massive disruptions in their learning and research.

This policy change would also have negative economic impacts, because international students spend millions of dollars in our communities every year.

AAU is working to quantify the impact of this new guidance, which forces sudden, difficult decisions on international students and universities trying to look out for the safety of their students, faculty, and staff.

We strongly urge the administration to rescind this guidance and provide temporary flexibility to permit international students to participate in the range of in-person, online, and hybrid instruction that institutions are implementing in light of the pandemic and their local conditions.

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