The guidance issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 6, requiring international college and university students in the United States to leave the country if their institution provides online-only instruction this fall, serves absolutely no constructive purpose and is manifestly xenophobic. It creates enormous logistical problems for students and universities during a highly uncertain and stressful time, and places students at higher risk of contracting and spreading Covid-19.
More than a million international students currently study at U.S. colleges and universities across fields of science and scholarship. They contribute importantly to the richness and productivity of our educational environments. Substantial numbers of international students at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels study and engage in education research. They represent an important portion of the scholars of the future who will examine crucial education issues.
From this administration universities need support, flexibility, and a commitment to ensuring that the United States remains the top higher education destination and a welcoming environment for building scientific capacity in the world, including in education research. It is critical to the future of the United States that it is able to attract and retain the best and the brightest globally.
We urge the administration to reverse the ICE guidance and allow international students with valid visas to remain in the United States as their universities strive to find the best path forward to providing a high-quality education while ensuring public health safety.