UH Chancellors & Provost - Create a 1 credit course so our international students can stay

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Dear University of Houston Administration, 

As of July 6, 2020, ICE and SEVP have issued new guidelines for international non-immigrant students attending universities across the nation.  These guidelines require all international students to leave the country if their university transitions to an online-only course load. This has left over 1 million international students in the country uncertain about their immigration status for the fall semester. 

Due to this newly issued guidance for international students, your student body asks that you create a 1 credit P/F "in-person" course with excused absences for international students to remove the burden of sudden deportation and/or placement in immigration detentions during the school year. This is the only way to guarantee that students are not at risk for deportation if the university decides to transition to online-only classes at any point in the semester. Our request for action is inspired by other universities who have considered and created a similar program. 

There are over 81,000 international students enrolled in the state of Texas alone. The new guidelines only hurt our academic institutions and diminish the promises of academic diversity. According to NAFSA.org, international students have contributed $2.2 billion dollars and supported over 25,000 jobs in the state of Texas during the 2018-2019 academic school year. The new directive thus harms international students on many levels but they also harm our institutions and our state. This is a malicious attack on our students for political purposes and nobody is better off.

Though this policy needs to be overturned at the federal level, UH has the power well within its authority to protect our international students. We demand that UH does so.