The Trump administration on Monday decided not to grant visas to foreign students whose universities have chosen online courses because of the pandemic. Those who are already in the United States have to leave it or register at another facility that offers courses in person.
Following the freeze of green cards, the Trump administration is taking a new turn on immigration. Washington announced Monday, July 6, that foreign students would not be allowed to stay in the United States if their university, fearing the new coronavirus, decided to teach online only when school started.
The US government will not “give visas to students enrolled in fully online programs this fall and border guards will not let them into the country,” said immigration and customs officials (ICE). ) in a press release.
In the case of students already in the United States, “they must leave the country or take other measures, such as enrolling in a school of courses in person to maintain their legal status.” Otherwise, they may “face an eviction procedure.
When the facilities choose a “hybrid” model, they must confirm that their foreign students are registered as much as possible in person so that they retain their housing rights. These exceptions are not approved for English studies or vocational training.
“The cruelty in the White House knows no bounds,” immediately criticized Senator Bernie Sanders, former challenger to the Democratic nomination for the November 3 presidential election. “Foreign students think they have to choose between risking their lives in classrooms or being deported,” he said.
The cruelty of the White House knows no bounds. Foreign students are threatened with choice: risk your life going to class personally or deported.
We must resist Trump’s abuse. We must keep all our students safe. https://t.co/Q2MvmgJPqV
– Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) July 6, 2020
“The worst thing is the uncertainty,” Gonzalo Fernández, a 32-year-old Spanish boy who is doing his doctorate in economics at George Washington University, told AFP. “We don’t know if we will have lessons next term, if we have to go home or if they will kick us out …”
The measure applies to F1 (for academic studies) or M1 (for vocational education). About 1.2 million people had them in March, the vast majority of them Asian (Chinese, Indian, South Korean), according to official data.
Like the rest of the country, US universities, which account for an average of 5.5% of international students and are heavily dependent on their tuition fees, closed their doors in March and switched to online education in an attempt to prevent pandemics.
In the absence of vaccines, some, including the State University of California or the prestigious Harvard University, have announced that they will continue with 100% online courses at the beginning of the school year, even for students who have the right to live on campus.
According to Aaron Reichlin-Melnick of the think tank American Immigration Council, the new rule should allow students to continue their studies from their country, but this is not realistic, especially due to travel difficulties or technical delays of some countries of origin. “Legal action is inevitable,” he predicted on Twitter.
President Trump, who is running for re-election, is pushing to resume the country, even if the pandemic is not under control, with more than 130,000 dead and an outbreak of infection in the south and west. “Schools have to open again,” he tweeted, especially in capital letters on Monday.
SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN CASE !!!
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 6, 2020