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International students in U.S. out of country if classes go online


This news story was published on July 7, 2020.
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International students will need to be on campus, in-person, or face consequences.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – International students enrolled in U.S. colleges will be booted from the country or forced to transfer to another college if their schools offer classes entirely online this fall, new guidelines issued by ICE Monday say.

ICE (Immigrations and Customs Enforcement) made the announcement Monday:

“Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings. Nonimmigrant students within the United States are not permitted to take a full course of study through online classes. If students find themselves in this situation, they must leave the country or take alternative steps to maintain their nonimmigrant status such as a reduced course load or appropriate medical leave.”

The reaction was swift by many opposed by the guidelines.

Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted, “Kicking international students out of the US during a global pandemic because their colleges are moving classes online for physical distancing hurts students. It’s senseless, cruel, and xenophobic. @ICEgov and @DHSgov must drop this policy immediately.”

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