International Students Dealing with Realities of ICE Visa Annoucement

International students are being told they need to be sure to take mostly in-person classes or run the risk of being forced to leave the United States.

DULUTH, Minn. – The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement has announced international students pursuing degrees in the United States will have to leave the country if they are only taking online classes.

The ruling is sending shockwaves through colleges and universities throughout the country including at UMD.

In fact, the Attorney Generals in both Minnesota and Wisconsin are among those joining the lawsuit to keep this from taking effect.

UMD has announced they will be opening campus and doing a mix of in-person and online courses coming this fall.

International students are being told they need to be sure to take mostly in-person classes or run the risk of being forced to leave the United States.

A portion of the international students at UMD have not been able to go home or see their families due to COVID restrictions on flights or country borders.

The University of Minnesota president says the university will file a brief in support of large lawsuits filed by Harvard and MIT against the ICE restrictions on visas for international students.

There are around 140 international students registered for next semester at UMD at this ruling has made an already difficult time even harder.

“They come here willing to share their culture, they’re here to study, and to find out that maybe they’re not welcome it is quite difficult,” said Susana Pelayo-Woodward, the director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

The unpredictability of a COVID surge could change things, but as long as international students can take a majority of in-person, or mixed in-person and online classes they should be able to stay in the United States.

UMD students have the full support of the administration and know these decisions are being made at the highest level.

“Many of our students are stressed and are very concerned but they know they are here and they are getting an education and they truly enjoy being in Duluth and in Minnesota,” said Pelayo-Woodward.

She also stresses that people should be reaching out to their political representatives to ask them to revisit the immigration and customs enforcement guidelines if they would like to see the recent ruling changed.

 

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