AATI STATEMENT ON NEW VISA REGULATIONS
July 10, 2020
The AATI condemns the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s July 6, 2020 decision to suspend the exemptions for nonimmigrant students enrolling in online courses during fall 2020 semester:
“Nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the United States. The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States.”
This discriminatory policy forces international students on F1 and M1 visas to attend in-person classes in order to remain in the United States, placing their health and safety at risk during a global pandemic. In addition, it requires that those who cannot continue with in-person study travel back to their countries, despite the presence of closed borders and travel restrictions in many other areas of the world.
The AATI believes that nonimmigrant students, like every student, have the right to continue their studies in a safe and just manner; no one should be forced to choose between their education and health. We support all international students who are an integral part of the academic community of this country and contribute to Higher Education in numerous ways. As educators, we stand with universities, schools, and colleagues to protect the rights, lives, and future of our international students. We ask ICE to extend the exemptions and allow every student to take online classes without having to leave the United States during COVID-19.
We invite colleagues to sign a petition, reach out to their local school administration, and contact their elected officials.