ICE, F1, Online Classes: A Difficult Prospect for International Students

BY: CLAIRE KIM

The Trump administration’s recent announcement on visa regulations, demanding that all international students studying in the US be barred from staying in the country if colleges fully transition to online courses, is absolutely ridiculous.

First of all, the expectation that thousands of international students can find other appropriate schooling opportunities within a few weeks before the formal school year starts is utterly absurd, and if one happens to claim a spot at another university, how unfair would it be if he or she degraded the value of his or her education because of external jostling. One of my close friends, muddied in this ICE situation, attends MIT right now, but with the current policy regulations, she may have to settle for smaller state colleges (which are basically already full) for her education or potentially move back to Korea, which in this case would be a huge demerit in her graduate journey. Why does she deserve this? Simple, she doesn’t. No one deserves to get their opportunities for formal education stripped away like that. It’s so demeaning to a student.

Trump’s claims that such measures are necessary for schools to reopen is also something worth getting angry about. It’s a misconception to believe that schools want to transition to online courses instead of traditional in-classroom teaching. Firstly, this online shift demands more funding, thus potentially raising tuition to attend university and in consequence, losing students because of financial inadequacy. USC is a prime example. Additionally, with this transition comes increasing demands in digital equity to provide a level platform for learning for all students attending the university, a feat difficult to accomplish within the next few months. Lastly, and while there are so many other reasons this change reaps consequences, this transition takes away the whole excitement of going to college, the “college experience”.

A statement released by Janet Napolitano, the president of the Univerity of California system, states that “Universities don’t need any extra pressure to reopen. I think most universities would love to reopen and be fully in-person on classes and have their dorms fully occupied.” (New York Times) President Trump, please check your privileged assumptions.

Though not an international student myself, or in fact, a college student as well, I am upset about how ICE and Trump are handling the inevitable prospect of online first-semesters of college. It’s not like anyone wants to be at home, looking at a computer screen for hours on end.

Most students, if not everyone, wants to go back to school.

It’s only you, President Trump, who needs to understand that we’re not being selfish as students or faculty for wanting a fair education, you are.

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