Allow International Students To Stay In America If Universities Transition Online

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Yousouf Amolegbe
Yousouf Amolegbe signed this petition

International students who are pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on July 6th, 2020. This will affect thousands of foreign students who come to the United States to attend universities or participate in training programs, as well as non-academic or vocational studies. Universities nationwide are beginning to make the decision to transition to online courses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

With everything going on in the country and amidst a global pandemic, students seeking an education should not fear deportation. International students overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles to come to America and receive a quality education. These students are our classmates and deserve the right to be full-time students, if desired, regardless of the circumstances.

ICE said that students who fall under certain visas "may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States," adding, "The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States." The agency suggested that students currently enrolled in the U.S. consider other measures, like transferring to schools with in-person instruction. There's an exception for universities using a hybrid model, such as a mix of online and in-person classes.

This petition is calling on New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont to work with universities, law schools, and all educational institutions to create a system that would allow our International students to continue pursuing their education in America. This includes but is not limited to approving hybrid academic plans in the Fall that would allow international students to stay. All international students should be allowed to stay in America without the fear of being deported.