Donald Trump should realise foreign students predicament
Just as millions of foreign students in the United States were preparing to return to college, whether online or in person, they are now facing drastic challenge due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the US president Donald Trump coming up with a new decision saying non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course and remain in the United States
Just as millions of foreign students in the United States were preparing to return to college, whether online or in person, they are now facing drastic challenge due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the US president Donald Trump coming up with a new decision saying non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course and remain in the United States.
"The US Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programmes that are fully online for the fall semester, nor will the US Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the US. Active students currently in the US enrolled in such programmes 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,'' he said. It was not immediately clear how many student visa holders would be affected by the move, but foreign students are a key source of revenue for many US universities as they often pay full tuition. What does the new rule mean? It means all foreign students will just have two options.
One: Try to find a place where they can attend physical classes despite pandemic. Two: Taken online classes from another country. This raises a big question as why the US was ignoring the safety of these students. Is their safety not important for the US administration? In the present situation, students feel more comfortable and safe taking classes online. On one hand, Trump is trying to lure Indian voters and on the other, he is trying to push out foreign students out of US universities. In the US, it is not so easy particularly when the Covid-19 pandemic is playing havoc, if the students fail to find another college in less than 60 days before school starts. If they fail, the penalties would be very high and have to face consequences of immigration. Another question that needs to be pondered over is will they get another visa in the future.
This is not clear. US Legal experts say, "We also have mixed status families; where the son is under a student visa and the parents under a work visa. This new policy will potentially separate families." As far as students outside the country, the new guidelines say there will not be any new visas issued to attend schools offering only online classes during the fall. "This sort of policy is the type of policy targeting lawful immigration. In the middle of a pandemic, we're asking them to either not be safe or to return to a country that may not be safe," the experts say. the US President needs to relook at the policy. A number of Democrats in the Congress also denounced the policy. He should realise that kicking international students out of the US during a global pandemic because their colleges are moving classes online for physical distancing hurts students.