The Trump administration's decision to exclude foreign students from online courses "will encourage schools to reopen" while maintaining the "fraud protection" required by international visa programs, a homeland security official said .
In a decision that will adversely affect hundreds of thousands of foreign students in the U.S., including India, the Immigration and Customs Agency (ICE) said this week that international students at universities who will only offer online courses in the fall The COVID19 pandemic cannot stay in the United States and will be deported if it is not sent to a school with personal instructions.
The U.S. State Department will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and / or programs that are fully online for the fall semester, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow these students to enter the U.S. ICE press release.
Acting Deputy Minister of Homeland Security, Ken Cuccinelli, said in an interview with CNN: "The current rules and regulations that regulate foreign students allow at most one online class. Therefore, we are expanding flexibility massively to an unprecedented level of schools can use hybrid models and design the reopening. "
"Anything that is not 100 percent online is the direction we are going. We need to complete the temporary regulation, but this is more flexibility that we are looking at than ever before," he said.
Cuccinelli said "this now sets the rules for a semester that we will complete later this month, which will encourage schools to reopen as some of them postpone their start dates, some of them will use hybrid models." , some online, others in person. And we try to accommodate as many as possible while maintaining the fraud protection, etc. that is required for any type of international visa program. "
He added that students can attend the 100% online courses from home, as was the case in the last semester from March to April, when the COVID pandemic really broke out.
At the time, ICE "at the time offered tremendous flexibility in the discretion of the prosecutor to allow for this sudden change in the middle of a semester."
When asked that agencies generally force universities to reopen, even if they have personally decided that they should not do so for public health reasons, he said, "We are not forcing universities to reopen, but if they do not to do." In order not to reopen this semester, there is no reason for a person with a student visa to be present in the country.
"You should go home and then return when the school opens. That's what student visas are for, and we want to accommodate that for schools, and we're working hard on it."
Several MPs and leading American educational institutions have rejected the Trump administration's change in policy that international students in the U.S. must have at least one personal course on an F-1 visa, or there is a prospect of deportation.
The new guidelines have caused panic among international students, most of whom are from China and India.
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have sued the Department of Homeland Security and ICE on this matter.