Statement from NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. on New Temporary Rule Affecting International Students

July 07, 2020

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a new temporary final rule, prohibiting international students from staying in the United States if they are enrolled in an American college or university that implements an online-only platform for instruction. This guidance also applies to an institution that moves to exclusively online midsemester in response to rising COVID-19 cases on campus, and to students who are living on campuses that are open, but offering classes online only to protect the health and safety of their faculty and campus community.

NAICU President Barbara Mistick, D.M. issued the following statement:

“This policy is not only extremely punitive to international students, it also threatens the safety of other students and the communities surrounding college campuses. It is the exact opposite of what the higher education community, including NAICU, recommended last week to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf requesting extended flexibility for international students."

"This move doesn’t appear to be very well-thought out. The new policy puts undo pressure on campuses to stay open when it is unsafe to do so. Transporting international students who may have been exposed to the coronavirus to other campuses (which would be the only way they could remain in the country to continue their education), or to airports to fly back to their home countries, assuming those countries are allowing flights from the United States, pose a myriad of health risks."

"Congress should take immediate action to help roll back this unnecessary and harmful rule.”

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