International students will not be allowed to stay enrolled at US universities that offer only remote classes this coming academic year, the Trump administration decided this past week. As Natasha Mascarenhas and Zack Whittaker explore, many universities are attempting a hybrid approach that tries to allow some in-person teaching without creating a community health problem.
Without this type of approach, many students could lose their visas. Here’s our resident immigration law expert, Sophie Alcorn, with more details on Extra Crunch:
International students have been allowed to take online classes during the spring and summer due to the COVID-19 crisis, but that will end this fall. The new order will force many international students at schools that are only offering remote online classes to find an “immigration plan B” or depart the U.S. before the fall term to avoid being deported.
At many top universities, international students make up more than 20% of the student body. According to NAFSA, international students contributed $41 billion to the U.S. economy and supported or created 458,000 jobs during the 2018-2019 academic year.
Apparently, the current administration is continuing to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” when it comes to immigration.
Universities are scrambling as they struggle with this newfound untenable bind. Do they stay online only to keep their students safe and force their international students to leave their homes in this country? Or do they reopen to save their students from deportation, but put their communities’ health at risk?
For students, it means finding another school, scrambling to figure out a way to depart the States (when some home countries will not even allow them to return), or figuring out an “immigration plan B.”
Who knows how many startups will never exist because the right people didn’t happen to be at the right place at the right time together? What everyone does know is that remote-first is here to stay.