ICE tells students to leave US if their universities adopt online-only teaching
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement service announced in July that the State Department will not issue visas to students whose universities shift to online-only learning and they must leave the country or face deportation. More than 1 million higher education students in the US come from overseas, though enrollment has been declining since 2016, and the move is a blow to university budgets. Eight percent are planning to operate online-only, 60% are planning for in-person instruction, and 23% are proposing a hybrid model. The rest are undecided. The ruling poses significant problems if PhD students’ labs close while they’re working on dissertation research; many are involved in critical research relating to coronavirus response. Harvard and MIT jointly brought a court case against the Department of Homeland Security and ICE, who were also challenged by a number of states and other higher-education institutions. The case ended within a week with the judge’s announcement that ICE was reversing its decision. However, concerns remain that ICE will try again.
Writers: Rachel Treisman; Susan Svriuga; Colm Quinn