ICE threatens to disrupt the lives of international students in the U.S.
By Sasha Pesci and Elisa Ugarte, PhD students at UC Davis
"On Monday, July 6th, the Department of Homeland Security through Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced modifications to the temporary exemptions given to nonimmigrant college students forced to take online courses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If these modifications go into effect and universities choose to keep their students and faculty safe from COVID-19 by offering courses online, international students holding an F-1 or M-1 visa will be deported. Their only option would be to miraculously find a school offering in-person classes to which they can feasibly transfer immediately. Likewise, if universities open with a hybrid model, students will be barred from taking their classes fully online and will have to enroll in courses that offer in-person instruction.
We are international PhD students at UC Davis, originally from Argentina and Chile, who stand to be affected by the recent ICE “Student Ban” along with over 5,000 other international students who currently attend UC Davis. International students enrich the education of Americans who might otherwise never encounter a human being from outside the U.S. Our experiences, perspectives, and work are integral to building a diverse community and a globally conscious intellectual learning environment. Even with classes being online, international students continue to contribute to the local economy of college towns, which have been impacted by the many students fleeing to their homes due to the pandemic."