WASHINGTON, DC – This week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that international students studying at schools that have instituted remote learning would need to depart the country or transfer to schools with in-person learning. In response to these new rules affecting F-1 and M-1 visa students and their families, Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, released the following statement:
“As schools around the country are making the adjustments necessary to keep their students, faculty, and staff safe, ICE has seized on coronavirus as an opportunity to deport law-abiding international students. This week, ICE announced that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program will require international students attending schools with online courses to transfer to a school with in-person classes or leave the country. This appears to be part of the President’s ongoing quest to rid the country of as many non-native-born Americans as possible.
“The National Association for Foreign Student Affairs has said these new rules risk the health and well-being of students and risks our nation, ‘losing global talent with new policies that hurt us academically and economically.’ The brightest and most accomplished students and academics come from all over to the United States to study at the best schools in the world. Approximately 23% of Princeton’s students come from outside the United States and research institutions like Princeton and Rutgers (which developed an early saliva test for COVID-19) rely on the work of international students.
“This rule puts our students at risk, lowers our standing around the world, and hampers the research institutions that make the US a global leader. This rule should be reversed and we should give our colleges and universities the flexibility they need to keep their students safe.”