Repeal SEVP/ICE Policy on International Students in America

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The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement), announced modifications on Monday, July 6th, for temporary exemptions of nonimmigrant students taking online classes due to the pandemic for the fall 2020 semester. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security plans to publish the procedures and responsibilities in the Federal Register as a Temporary Final Rule. Under this most recent SEVP (ICE) policy, international students will have to leave America if their colleges do not offer a form of in-class sessions to be held this academic fall 2020 semester. This means that international undergraduate and graduate students would not be allowed to stay in America if their university does not allow for hybrid course options. To make matters worse, international students are expected to work remotely for classes; some of which go back home to countries with little to no internet access, or back home to unfavorable environments. My girlfriend is an international student who faces struggles with adjusting to 16 hour remote classroom time differences, because she would not be allowed to stay in America. She is also planning on graduating this Fall, and like many other students planning on graduating this fall, she will face deportation if they do not comply, as well as the inability to graduate in the country their school is located. Even if students who hold an F-1 or M-1 student visa are facing the notion of being deported back to their home countries, and currently no new students are being allowed Visas into the United States. Keep in mind that we are still in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, where students attending in-person sessions already risk potential infection. Forcing students to attend in-person classes in the midst of COVID-19 outbreaks, who are attending college in the number one country for reported cases of this infection, is what is being enforced by SEVP. International students are being forced to choose between risking possible exposure and health concerns, or going back home to take online courses, back home where they didn't choose to be.  International students account for 45 billion dollars in tuition/admission, and make up roughly 850,000 individuals in America at this very moment. International students often pay more tuition towards their schools, and to have their freedom of choice for their education removed is unfair and unjust, considering American students are having more freedom for the same or lower price. Our goal is to repeal this unnecessary set of rules and exceptions towards international students, so that they may receive the same treatment as any other paying student does in America. Bringing attention to this issue as soon as possible, so that the correct legal actions can be taken before the Fall 2020 Semester occurs is essential.

Below is a link to ICE's official website, giving more specifics on their course of action and the policy going into effect.