ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, put forth a new policy this week that could affect international students. The policy, coming from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, would prohibit some international students from staying in the United States if they take all online classes during the fall semester.
“This rule would create havoc; it would interrupt the educational work of those international students and have a tremendous impact in a negative way on our campuses and the campus communities,” said United University Professions Vice President for Academics Jamie Dangler.
Dangler said there are about 22,000 international SUNY students. She said many have remained in the United States during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We learned, based on what was reported at a recent SUNY Board of Trustees meeting, that 80 percent of SUNY’s international students are currently here. Right, they are in the U.S., probably most of them in New York State, connected to their campus communities and doing their work,” she said.
Many colleges and universities have still not made decisions on in-person instruction.
“It does not make sense to require international students, who are an integral part of these programs, to have to either leave the country or change their institution or for the institution to have to do something artificial that is not educationally sound in order to be able to keep them here,” Dangler said.
She also noted the policy still has not been published in the Federal Register, yet, leaving many unanswered questions.
In a statement, state Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa and Interim Commissioner of Education Shannon Tahoe said:
“The Trump Administration’s directive requiring international students who are enrolled in online programs to depart the country or seek alternative measures to enroll in in-person learning opportunities is an ignorant and cruel blow to students that come to our country each year in search of opportunities and success.”