ICE Tells Foreign Students to Leave the Country if Their Schools Are Going Online-Only

Unless they can find a way to transfer to a new school before the fall.

President Donald Trump speaking in Washington, DC, on Saturday during a July 4 event.Patrick Semansky/AP

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The Trump administration is giving a draconian choice to foreign students at schools that plan to offer only online courses this fall: Quickly transfer to a school with in-person classes or leave the country.

The new policy announced on Monday by Immigration and Customs Enforcement comes as colleges debate how to safely reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Some schools are resuming in-person courses; others are adopting hybrid models that combine in-person and online courses; and some are going fully online. 

With classes set to begin in September, it’s not clear how students would be able to transfer to a new university in time to stay in the United States. That may be the point.

After failing to get Congress to cut legal immigration, the White House has succeeded in using the pandemic as an excuse to shut off nearly all ways for people to come to the United States. Now it’s extending that crackdown to some students who are already in the country.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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