The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has come out with a directive announcement. The announcement came out to be a shock for foreign students studying in the US. The foreign students won’t be allowed to be in the country if their Fall classes are striding totally online. Any person can potentially be evicted if entering the US or staying there in violation of this.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted academic calendars this year. Students had been optimistic as the ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program had initially allowed foreign students to stay in the country until they complete their spring and summer courses online.
A Ph.D. student in Cognitive Science at Indiana University, Mahi Luthra, bad decision to do an online-only course in the Fall. He chose to do it as a safer option but now in a limbo living in the massive COVID-19 outbreak in the world.
According to Luthra, this is Trump’s way of urging universities to open for Fall, which is inadequate to COVID-19 reach. Many people, including him, are tired of Trump’s tantrums. They would rather be at home in India right now. He is just keeping up in the US as he’s constantly bothered about every new move Trump will take. He is annoyed by the struggle to remain in a country that he doesn’t want to be in right now and which seems to not want him either.
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The ICE directive was published on Monday US Time. It pertains to the M-1 non-immigrant visas for vocational coursework and F-1 non-immigrant visas for educational work. It requires school administrators to grant new visa forms by August 4 and to deliver functional plans by July 15. The submission can be done on an online basis only till July 15, otherwise August 1.
Mostly remote learning semesters have already been announced by the schools such as Harvard, Princeton, and Georgetown. Now, it depends on the Universities to determine if they would enable in-person courses. Even if limited, it would help foreign students stay in the country. Options such as “transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status” are also being suggested by The ICE for the foreign students to consider.
Emails were immediately sent by the institutions to their foreign students that they would make sure to meet their requirements. According to Brent White, University of Arizona’s Vice Provost for Global Affairs, it’s an unfortunate decision by ICE.
But it is what it is and they will do what they need to do. They will make sure that foreign students, will have in-person options even in the semester ends up online. He’s sure that foreign students are gaping at the situation and examining if they want to stay or not.
This move by The ICE has been obstructed by high-level administrators. US Senator Elizabeth Warren called it senseless, cruel, and xenophobic. Even The UN Ambassador Samatha Power described it as a needlessly cruel move.
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