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New ICE regulation affects international student visas

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Editor's note: This story was updated at 4:00 p.m. July 14 to reflect changes announced after New Times went to press on July 8.

Update:
On July 14, the Trump administration abruptly rescinded ICE’s regulation to send international students back to their respective countries if their U.S. college or university were offering only online classes.

The decision was announced without explanation at a hearing brought on by a lawsuit filed by Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology challenging the regulation issued last week.

Original story:
A recent U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) rule will force international students to leave the U.S. if their college is completely online in the fall.

NEW HURDLE Higher education institutions on the Central Coast are working with their international students as new ICE regulations force these students to leave if their school is all online in the Fall.  - PHOTO COURTESY OF ICE
  • Photo Courtesy Of ICE
  • NEW HURDLE Higher education institutions on the Central Coast are working with their international students as new ICE regulations force these students to leave if their school is all online in the Fall. 

New and continuing international students on F-1 and M-1 visas will either have to leave the U.S. and take their classes online from their respective country or take in-person classes to stay in the U.S.

The California State University Chancellor's Office is currently working with individual campuses to review online and in-person offers to determine if they meet the new ICE directives, Toni Molle director of public affairs said. The rules could affect more than 11,300 students in the system.

"International students add to the vibrant diversity of CSU's 23 campuses," a statement from the Chancellor's Office said. "We are currently reviewing the new guidance to determine how to reduce impacts to students and will provide information to campuses and students in the near future."

Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier said the International Center is working closely with the CSU to understand the new guidance and determine how to best serve their impacted international students.

"Students who intend to be in the U.S. will be urged to work with their academic advising centers to identify in-person courses in which to enroll," Lazier said.

Cal Poly has more than 300 international students.

Students for Immigration Justice created an online petition proposing that Cal Poly either guarantee that all international students take at least one designated in-person class and/or create a fall 2020 in-person course for international students on the affected student visas.

Cuesta College currently has 30 admitted international students for fall 2020 and eight applications in progress. Cuesta is working with its International Programs Office, spokesperson Ritchie Bermudez said, to get in touch directly with their international students and determine the best course of action to provide support and assistance.

Allan Hancock College Superintendent Kevin Walthers said in a statement that the institution is disappointed by "yet another divisive rule coming from the federal government."

Hancock admitted three students from Canada under the F-1 visa program for the fall 2020 term.

"Staff at Allan Hancock College are working to ensure that each of our international students has access to classes that meet the regulations so they can continue their progress toward a degree," Walthers said.

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