UW Admin create a one-credit class so international students can stay in the US

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Alexander Tsai
Alexander Tsai signed this petition

In light of the new decision by the US Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) requiring international students who are taking an all-online courseload for fall quarter to leave the United States or risk arrest and deportation, we ask the University of Washington and President Ana Mari Cauce to create a one-credit credit-no-credit class with one meeting a quarter as well as excused absences in all quarters, until this outrageous policy is reversed. Doing this would allow international students, already burdened by the stress of studying in a foreign country and the perpetual uncertainty about their visa status due to the pandemic, to stay in the US without fear of deportation.

The decision by SEVP and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is outrageous, discriminatory, inhumane, and an attack on our international student friends. It is ridiculous to force international students to leave the country simply because they are taking only online classes. Additionally, many international students have no way of returning home because of travel restrictions. For example, Chinese international students cannot return home because the Chinese government has restricted international flights into China because of the pandemic. International students who stay in the US without taking in-person classes risk being arrested by ICE and being locked up in ICE detention centers. ICE detention centers are known to have horrific conditions, be carrying out human rights abuses, and to be hotbeds of COVID-19 transmission. In addition, detainees may be denied due process, and 141 people died while detained in ICE detention centers between October 2003 and December 2013.

We strongly urge UW admin and President Cauce to respond to this petition and do everything within their power to protect the UW international student community from the inhumane organization that is ICE, and ensure that they can stay in the US without fear of arrest and deportation.