HomeCampusICE: Foreign students taking online classes face deportations due to COVID-19

ICE: Foreign students taking online classes face deportations due to COVID-19

Thousands of international students who are attending US schools will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses, according to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Many universities are considering a move to online courses as a strategy to prevent the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Harvard announced just yesterday it would be holding 100 percent of its classes in the fall online. Under new guidelines, foreign students enrolled at Harvard would be required to leave the country. The University of Southern California has also decided to go 100 percent online. So far about 9 percent of universities say they plan to go completely online.

The American Council on Education said the announcement caught many by surprise.

“It’s going to cause enormous confusion and uncertainty,” Terry Hartle said to Marketwatch . “ICE is clearly creating an incentive for institutions to reopen, regardless of whether or not the circumstances of the pandemic warrant it.”

According to Marketwatch, President Trump has said keeping universities closed is a Democratic ploy and is urging schools to return to in-person learning.

“They think it will help them in November. Wrong, the people get it!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

According to Bloomberg, the new rules would put 369,000 Chinese students alone under the threat of deportation.

“The pandemic has already made the U.S. unsafe enough, and Trump just made the environment for international students even worse,” said Ada Xu, 27, an international student told Bloomberg.

“Everyone is talking about it,” said Crystal Chen, who is getting her a PhD candidate at a university in Michigan. “This is already a difficult year for Chinese students, and the new policy is just adding to more uncertainty.”

There are 1 million international students in the U.S., witch Chinese students by far the largest group.

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