Remote learning could force international students out of U.S.

Hampshire County

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced a new set of rules for foreign students in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

As college students across the country contemplate what their upcoming semester might look like, international students now face more challenges.

International students attending U.S. colleges that will operate entirely online this fall semester cannot remain in the country, according to new regulations released by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The updated guidance came as schools across the country consider how to reopen amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Under the new rules, the state department will not issue them visas, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will not allow them to enter the country.

More than one million of the country’s higher education students come from overseas. Now, they are left wondering what the future holds for their education as these new rules leave them scrambling for the fall semester.

“I don’t know what’s next but I’m keeping updated with what’s going on,” Adnan Idris, a student at Westfield State University told 22News.

Idris has lived in the United States for 10 years. Originally from India, Idris is a first-year student at Westfield State University studying for his masters in business. Now, with these new rules, he doesn’t know what the future holds.

“We received an email from the president of Westfield State saying most of the classes will be online so I’m going to have to look at other universities, other options to live in this country,” Idris continued.

According to an economic analysis by the Association of International Educators (NAFSA), international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $41 billion and supported more than 458,000 jobs during the 2018-2019 academic year.

Harvard University and MIT are suing the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and ICE over the new rules. International students will be able to attend if the school offers in-person classes.

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