With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise and the fall semester quickly approaching, students in the US are facing much uncertainty and rapid changes. International students are now finding themselves caught in this crossfire due to the newly implemented ICE regulation.
Specifically, this regulation would put pressure on nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students to either leave the US, be deported if their coming semester takes place online, or transfer to a school with in-person instruction. Therefore, international students attending universities that have switched to strictly online classes only for the next fall semester will not be allowed to stay in the US.
This news has come as COVID-19 cases rise exponentially across the US. Many are very concerned and confused about this news, especially international students that now have to travel back to their home countries immediately and potentially pause their studies. This regulation could lead to more complications regarding how these students will continue studying back in their home environments and time zones.
For students already enrolled in universities that will be fully online, the State Department will not be issuing visas or be allowing them into the US. Overall, this new regulation has puzzled many due not only to the value foreign students bring, but why forcing more students to travel during a time like this is favorable. These international students may then face returning home to unstable or unsafe environments, no internet connection or access to educational resources, and even more unfavourable situations. Due to all of the complications that this regulation has stirred, Harvard and MIT have sued the Trump Administration over a temporary restraining order to prohibit these rules from being implemented. The administrations from these schools stated that
“for many students, returning to their home countries to participate in online instruction is impossible, impracticable, prohibitively expensive, and/or dangerous.”
A lot of NYU Shanghai students have now deferred their semesters at any of the US campuses due to all these complications. A decision was also recently made by NYU that it would be implementing a hybrid model of classes in order to accommodate students affected by this new regulation. For now, NYU Shanghai students will have to wait until July 15th for further notice on what will be decided for fall plans.
Since the statement was made by ICE regarding this new regulation for international students, many universities are now taking action to protect their students from being affected, such as NYU and Columbia have done. NYU President Andrew Hamilton included in his statement on this regulation that
“International students—who number some 1.1 million—have long been an integral part of US campuses. They contribute to the vibrancy of university education in the US, learn about US values, and bring diverse skills and knowledge to our communities.”
This statement offers reassurance to NYU international students in the US.
NYU and other university students across the globe have quickly started taking action towards making a change regarding this regulation by starting petitions and advocating through social media. Specifically, NYU students created a petition on change.org that is very close to receiving its goal of 10k signatures.
Uncertainty still lingers on most NYU Shanghai students’ minds regarding their fall semester plans as the Go Local applications and news for returning to China still are not released.
This article was written by Madi Eberhardt based in Newport Beach, California. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: from James Martin/CNET