- For as far back as I could find, students that wanted to qualify for a student visa to study in the US could take at most one online course per semester. The rest of the coursework had to be in-person.
- Starting in the spring of this year, the SEVP program (part of ICE) created exemptions so students could continue to stay in the US even though universities had moved entirely online. These exemptions were for Spring and Summer and universities were awaiting the rules for Fall.
- As of Monday, they are changing the exemptions. They are allowing any number of online classes, but with the caveat you have to have at least one in-person class.
- If you are already in the US you have to leave if your university is online-only. [This is the part that feels punitive and particularly onerous to me]
What is interesting to me is the framing of this. The new exemptions are still more flexible than the pre-existing student visa policy (which has been around through both Democratic and Republican administrations as far as I can tell). So on the one hand it's actually an improvement. On the other hand I think most of these universities were hoping the full exemption would continue as COVID is still very much a thing.
"At least one in-person class" doesn't make any sense. Either in-person classes are safe, and the rules can go back to pre-pandemic, or they aren't, and forcing students and professors to attend them is dangerous and cruel.
There is no legitimate justification for this. There's no slippery slope issue or anything, everybody accepts that these rules will go back to normal once it's safe to do so.
Why can't they go home for one semester?
1) It's expensive. Flight home, rent for a US apartment they no longer occupy, potential rent for a new apartment at home, flight back here next semester. Where is a student supposed to get $5000+ to deal with this?
2) They need good internet access (and a laptop) wherever they're going. Not guaranteed, and not something the university can easily provide.
3) Timezones. Many classes are synchronous and discussion-based. Not only do you need internet good enough to support video calls, but you need to be awake at the same time as 15 other people in however many timezones.
4) It might be illegal. What if you're from China or Iran and your school uses G Suite for Education? Or they use Zoom, which is banned in 6 countries. Participating in your classes would be illegal. Can the university switch their entire infrastructure to a new platform in a couple months to support a few students for one semester for arbitrary reasons?
5) It might be unsafe. Not all students have a safe and stable place to go.
6) It achieves nothing. Literally no benefit for anyone. If you expect these students to come back in a semester or two, there is no point.
That's not to even mention that when you're on an F-1 student visa, you can legally renew it while remaining in the US even while the visa stamp in your passport has already expired. But once you leave the US, you have to have a valid visa stamp in your passport in order to reenter, even if you already have a valid F-1 visa document approved and signed by all the right people. This means that, in your home country, you'll need to make an appointment, spend hours lining up at the US embassy (if they're even open due to COVID), then go through the interview process (which you have to repeat every single time you renew your passport visa stamp) in order to get that stamp reissued.
Once, after already having spent years in the US on a student visa, I was actually turned back during that interview because the particular consular officer on duty that day decided that I needed to provide a detailed printed transcript of my American high school experience. I had to leave the interview, schedule a second appointment, and have the printed transcript ready at that time. All of this is to say that not only would requiring students to go through this process simply because their universities aren't offering physical classes during COVID will not only cause intense stress, but also will probably result in some students not making it back into the country for arbitrary reasons.
I see this same thing everywhere. From race issues to out of touch boomer tech managers and PM's.
7) Lost rent to the landlord in the college town, and their ability to fill the apartment/room (doubtful).
- Lost reputation (if there's any left) among embassies that will have to work to repatriate these students for no reason.
- Lost business at supermarkets, bookstores, cafes, whatever else.
- Many students are probably just going to transfer to a college that's holding in-person classes rather than deal with this, putting them in danger and disrupting their education.
- Lost societal contributions from future college graduates who may no longer want to live and work in this country.
- Massive waste of government resources as ICE agents try to deport people to countries that aren't accepting flights from America.
- Waste of everyone's resources as the government and universities work through this inevitable court case.
- Loss of future international students who are now seeing an example of how arbitrary and capricious the US government can be that hits a little too close to home.
- Endangering the lives of faculty and students and neighborhoods of every college that is now forced to hold in-person classes because they can't afford to sue the United States government and don't expect this lawsuit to succeed.
- Waste of fossil fuels for completely pointless international flights.
- etc. etc. etc.
If we create obstacles or burdens that stand in the way of completing that education, it serves to jeopardize the returns on the investment we've made.
If it was in the US's best interests to let them start, it's in the US's best interests to give them best odds of finishing. Let them choose whether or not to return to their home country as best fits their individual situation.
This sounds ridiculously reductive, and too black and white.
"Either driving a car is safe, and you shouldn't need to apply safety rules, or they aren't, in which case driving a car is cruel".
There is no such thing as completely safe, only levels of risk, and how you mitigate risk. You can still catch a disease even if you wore a N95 mask, for example. There is a reason why essential groceries stores are open during the pandemic, while barbershops are closed. It's about how you manage the risk/reward balance. Starving is not an option, whereas not getting a haircut is.
Well, some classes clearly work better online than others. You can teach a webdev class online. Would you want someone who is learning to become a surgeon to learn purely online and without hands-on experience? Some other classes, like biology labs, chemistry labs, etc produce a lot more value in person.
This means that in order to manage risk, a university could implement a strategy where it reduces the number of in-person classes as much as possible, but still have some in-person classes (with added social distancing and other safety rules).
This doesnt mean international students should be forced to leave the country if they are not taking an in-person class, for example. But I don't think it means universities should be prevented from allowing in-person classes if they take precautions and understand the risk.
Nobody is being prevented from holding in-person classes if they want to. And yes, international students being forced to leave the country is what we're talking about.
This rule has nothing to do with risk/reward balance or picking which classes benefit most from in-person interaction. The driving analogy would make sense if students were being forced to drive one hour a week without a seatbelt for no reason in order to remain in the country.
Actually, in-person classes are completely safe and this is a gentle nudge from the federal administration to make the universities reconsider their (completely political) decision to not resume normal classes this Fall.
But that's the part that people are upset about. People aren't angry that there exists a policy to prevent students of fully online universities from getting visas.
People are upset that because it is completely reasonable for a traditional brick-and-mortar university to run classes 100% online this coming semester (e.g., Harvard) and that suddenly a bunch of students who are attending Harvard and have been doing so for years are forced to leave the country on a moment's notice.
What nuance is there? The original exception (you can take 100% online classes) was thoroughly reasonable given the pandemic and the new updated policy is completely unreasonable. It only harms people and benefits no one.
Also my understanding is that the criteria for being allowed to stay doesn't differentiate on the level of the degree. For instance, Phd students who have completed their course work but are busy working on their thesis and building their publishing record are royally screwed. I expect a number of transfers of some of the best and brightest to research universities in Canada and Europe. I personally witnessed how much of a boon the mistreatment of Iranian students by the US govt. was to universities in Canada. They got some of the best and brightest who would have otherwise been gobbled up by top schools in the US.
I expect a massive and permanent exodus of foreign students to other countries with more pragmatic policies in place.
I also find it funny that you bring up Canada as Canadian schools openly discriminate against international students thanks to government policies.
Any reasonable administrative body would look at the circumstances involved in this and do the thing that would disrupt lives the least for the benefit of everyone involved.
"So on the one hand it's actually an improvement."
This seems kind of silly.
From my experience, distance learning isn't really worth very much. This applies to K-12 as well as university. I think it's entirely reasonable to expect in-person classes in the Fall if you're paying full tuition. We expect our grocery store workers to show up and do their jobs during COVID, I think it's reasonable to expect the same of university faculty.
Remote classes are not as good as in person classes.
These two things are unrelated.
If the students choose not to continue their education because the quality is degraded by remote learning, that is an entirely different matter.
Literally none of that makes it okay to evict people from the country under this policy. This isn't about the Trump administration standing up for students against universities. This is about the Trump administration shitting on immigrants.
I went to the original ICE/SEVP documents and I didn't find any mention that the rules were for Spring and Summer, and not for Fall.
Here they are:
The American economy and society is essentially a kind of massive Ponzi scheme or con job (short for trick of confidence), where the foreign "human resources" are required to keep the scheme from collapsing. The day that China, India, Europe, Russia, etc. realize that they are being extracted of some of their very most important and valuable resources, their best and brightest, and they cut the USA off; it will cause massive panic and pangs of terror among the US ruling class that needs to keep the flow of fresh supply of the foreign best and brightest to prevent their con job from being exposed.
There is all this talk of slavery and colonialism and resource extraction of the past that has sabotaged and disadvantaged countries and societies and communities. In reality though it never stopped, it only took on a different and largely more profitable form like how a con artist may shift and move around and dissolve and form new companies as needed while the con always remains more or less the same.
The same cynical exploitation and extraction of resources from one society to fuel and enrich another has always remained in place even if the branding, labeling, and narrative around it has changed over time. If people want to "tear down the system of exploitation and abuse" (or however it is characterized) all they would need to do is stop feeding the American economy with their best and brightest, let alone even their hard working manual labor like Central America is doing, who are not available to contribute to developing their own societies because they are busy serving the American corporations to "Make America Great Again".
In reality, the US economy is so riddled with massive holes and flaws that it is like a sieve that requires a constant and ever larger flow of the best and brightest and hardest working and most motivated and driven just to keep the con going. If that were to seize up, if foreign countries and leaders realized how they were sabotaging themselves and stopped fueling the US economy, the energy and economic activity of the USA would immediately start draining out at a dizzying rate.
I would love for someone to correct me if I am looking at this incorrectly.
1. Benefits and harms are not zero sum, that goes for "elites" and "common people" as well as countries. I thought the Coronavirus already demonstrated this quite well. The "common people" dying didn't benefit the elites nor the elites dying.
2. Even if we accept false premises of value it isn't a Ponzi Scheme. Even if it is an unsustainable demand for talent it wouldn't be a Ponzi Scheme. A Ponzi Scheme lies about generating benefits and instead just redostributes from new to old while escalating recruitment. For it to be a Ponzi Scheme no learning would be taking place, just idea extraction from immigrants and plagerism to attribute it to the professors. To put it mildly that is very counterfactual, akin to suggesting that crowds of thousands of people watching a musician perform is what creates talent and any rando you put up on stage would gain talent faster than if they practiced in an empty concert hall.
3. Just because they are educated abroad and the US benefits doesn't mean their native country is harmed or "harmed". They can and have enriched their native country either when they return or through remittances above what they earn domestically.
4. Source country interests may also be selfish. They may be glad to be rid of those pesky intellectuals with their "western" values of things like equal rights.
5. The entire reason many go abroad to study is because their native country is unable to use their full potential for whatever reason. That is like saying recruiting a subsidence farmer's genius son and training him to be a doctor stole hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from the farmer because the doctor now earns that in the city. At most the farmer lost $400/year from a farmhand's labor.
The entire intellectual frameworks involved are wrong on several levels really.
The options here are either that the administration is risking lethal consequences for these students out of: 1) incompetence (they forgot to extend the exemptions), or 2) active negligence. Either is exceptionally bad. Whether it was an active decision or not to let these exceptions end, ICE seems almost gleeful to take the opportunity to kick these students out of the country, and ICE is entirely under the control of the executive branch.
Or: why is it news that Trump refuses to wear a mask? Obama never wore one.
> How can you not see the hardship of kicking out international students who are already here? COVID forcing the closure of universities is not their fault.
However Harvard and MIT aren't all about caring about their international students here. They are also thinking heavily about the money they might be losing. International students usually pay a much higher effective tuition rate. The higher the % of international students the school takes in the more money they take in. If these schools had to replace international students with domestic ones (even if they could) they wouldn't be able to get away with selecting only the highest paying students.
I'm from Boston, we have an incredibly high number of international students, and a lot of the interest in keeping them is about getting their money.
The Boston Globe estimates they are worth $3.6 billion dollars to the area... lots of money, lots of tuition, lots of apartment rentals, lots of bar & restaurant revenue.
It’s okay to have multiple motivations.
The fact that they have a monetary incentive doesn’t detract from the good of what they’re doing. In fact, that’s partially what enables these expensive lawsuits.
We shouldn’t try to downplay good actions just because money is also involved.
Access to elite society is controlled by these institutions so if they have money motive then they perpetuate rich-> rich cycle.
And it is a legitimate defense. Big pharma, motivated by profit, has brought countless medicines to market and saved hundreds of millions of lives.
Non-profit pharma does not have the same track record.
I live in a world where many of my friends and even my father was killed in cold blood by that system in its blind pursuit of profit over health and honesty.
The number of people harmed by perscription drugs when there are less damaging, and often times natural and cheaply available and more effective, non-patented treatments is astronomical and ongoing.
Patients and doctors can still choose natural remedies if they believe they are the most effective treatment for a given illness.
These new drugs also often come with harmful effects that are not discovered until many people are harmed or killed. Big Pharma often discovers the harmful effects long before the public does and, in their pursuit of profit, denies any harm, lies, and covers up. See Merck and vioxx.
There are also tons of research on effective non-patentable treatments that are ignored in Big Pharma's blind pursuit of profit.
These "new" drugs are pushed as the best known treatment, while ignoring entire bodies of research.
That is my largest beef with Big Pharma and Big Allopathic Medicine. They ignore much science. Yes, ignore.
Now with Sci-Hub we can, as individuals, begin to see how much is being ignored. I've taken stacks of research papers into doctors in order to educate them on peer-reviewed and well supported science that Big Pharma convienently ignores and damn well doesn't educate them about. In their defense, they do understand the language of science and they were willing to change treatments in response.
I know big pharma cannot be trusted as they're in it to have customers for life, but I've never considered using research papers to change treatments.
One time it was a 10 year old research paper detailing the simple fact that if you don't force a particular chemo drug into a person over the standard 30 minutes but instead do it over 2 hours you have a much reduced chance of permanent side-effects such as neuropathy. The doctors changed the treatment in response to the paper, and FWIW the person did not develop have any permanent side effects.
The fact that that paper exists and is 10 years old and had no change on the treatements of many people since then (many of which could have potentially avoided permanent damage) led me to further question the "scientific" nature of modern medicine.
Another rich vein of research is in the numerous research on the effects of certain medicinal mushrooms as an adjunct to cancer treatments, both radiation and chemo. In allmost all cases, the effects were very positive and replicable. Some of these papers are also over 10 years old.
We obviously live in a world where natural remedies can't be commercialized the way Pharma drugs can. This creates incredible incentives to push dangerous medicines on people and the expense of everything else. America is the most drugged society in the world - and it also is one of the most unhealthiest. That is not an accident.
Big pharma also benefits substantially from taxpayer funded research, which often gets omitted.
> Non-profit pharma
It's hard to see how such a thing would not get sued out of existence by Big Pharma, however generic drugs do indeed have a long history of saving lives.
Big pharma receives some marginal benefit from taxpayer funded research, but it isn't as big as most think, and is given by the taxpayer with no strings attached. See my response here:
>It's hard to see how such a thing would not get sued out of existence by Big Pharma,
Im not sure what big pharma would be suing for. Non-profits have a number of problems, but this isn't one that I am aware of. Here is a whitepaper describing some of the challenges. the Whitepaper was funded by a VC firm which actively invests in non-profit pharma.
>however generic drugs do indeed have a long history of saving lives.
Most generics started as brand name drugs which were developed by big pharma with a profit motive. Once off patent, other big pharma companies manufacture the generic with a profit motive.
This is like when academic publishers defend themselves by saying how much value they add. The fact is the U.S. could easily cover all Big Pharma R&D spending and then some if it wanted to, just the military spending increase this year was in the tens of billions of dollars. What if that went to this instead?
The problem is not the money, the problems is the incentives of the U.S. healthcare system are completely messed up. How else would you explain getting charged thousands of dollars for an ambulance ride?
I am not against Big Pharma making a profit, I am against them jacking the price of drugs by 700% because the new owners saw a cashcow opportunity. That's someone's life right there. I am not for them lobbying against single payer either.
Just look at the recent Remdesivir pricing fiasco. Why can't Medicaid negotiate drug prices for example?
I was objecting specifically to the claims that pharma substantially benefits from taxpayer funded research and would sue non-profits out of existence.
I totally agree that the incentives are the problem! The best step forward would be to federally negotiate prices based on relative benefit. Next we could look at outcome based compensation. I think these changes would address 90% of the problem.
Federal funding accounts for <50% of Basic research funding. basic research funding accounts for 1/6 of R&D spending. So federal funding is <8% of overall R&D spend.
From the article you linked:
>Basic research comprises only about one-sixth of the country’s spending on all types of R&D, which totaled $499 billion in 2015. Applied makes up another one-sixth, whereas the majority, some $316 billion, is development. Almost all of that is funded by industry and done inhouse, as companies try to convert basic research into new drugs, products, and technologies that they hope will generate profits.
i don't think thats what people think when they say "non profit".
non profits are usually privately held.
A. people defending harvard's money motive here
B. people defending harvard's money motive elsewhere
don't have a big intersection
Group A would also have situational supporters outside B
I disagree. When there are thousands upon thousands of innocent people in privately-run ICE detention centres, whose economic value is solely based on their being locked up, it doesn't go nearly far enough to say that THESE immigrants are worth fighting for because their economic value is based on their relative wealth.
So you consider it downplaying, I consider it attempted betterment.
It is very risky to cut out a generation of top students because the value is not just to the local Boston economy, but nationally. It’s not just cheap labor. It’s apprenticeship by the smartest in the world who will pay dividends for not only our lives but for generations.
I came as a student. I pay 6 figures in taxes. Some of my intl friends pay 7 figures and employ hundreds. I’ll have kids here that will generate enough value to do that as well.
Right now, there is a significant risk that a lot of economic value is going to be lost due to these immigration policies. That is not good for america.
It’s like a sports team: you have the ability to draft the top players from around the world for cheap. Why would you decide to boycott the draft itself and let the competitors (India, China) take those players? Especially some players that you have already trained (graduated students, post docs)
You're thinking about it from the wrong perspective. The people who are anti-immigration are anti-immigration because they personally might be negatively impacted (in terms of losing jobs or getting lower wages), even if it means the country as a whole is better off. Seeing the US GDP grow 30% faster is little consolation to you when you've lost your job to immigrants (or at least, you thought that you did). Going back to the sports team analogy, it'd be great if your team drafted the best international players and won, but what if that resulted in you getting kicked off the team, or sidelined most of the season?
To address your point a bit more directly: can you show me studies where native born Americans have lost jobs to immigrants in the US? I know that many jobs got moved to China and Mexico, but that’s not what I am wondering about.
In the sports analogy, I'm describing it from the point of a player, not a fan. A fan's role in this is closer to shareholder rather than employee. They primarily care about winning (presumably). Ultimately the team is beholden to their fans, not to their players.
>To address your point a bit more directly: can you show me studies where native born Americans have lost jobs to immigrants in the US? I know that many jobs got moved to China and Mexico, but that’s not what I am wondering about.
That's not my personal position, by the way, so I'm not going to bother looking up statistics for it. I'm only describing what anti-immigration's perceptions are. It's safe to say that there's a widely held belief (among immigration opponents, at least) that immigrants "steal" jobs from natives. eg. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H-1B_visa#Criticisms_of_the_pr...
That's generally untrue, though it is what people think. For one thing, the same flexibility that lets MIT pull from around the world lets a student in Boston apply around the world instead of being stuck with whatever Boston has to offer.
Did you care to address the paper attached to the article I linked to?
I suspect that a lot of this immigration is both the desire for high-paying jobs and to live in a (slightly) more stable country.
Video of an Africans being evicted from chinese apartment due to racism https://youtu.be/KQaNdTKQyLY?t=310
Racist incidents against Africans in China amid coronavirus crackdown spark outcry
Africans told to leave homes as Chinese regime blames foreigners for bringing CCP virus to China
Also, are you aware of 1000 Talents plan?
I suppose you are also aware of Tsinghua and other 8 schools that are super strong? Especially two of them in AI.
To answer the "why" folks may think this, you and I are considering the general equilibrium impact of the policy, but the vast majority of folks think in terms of partial equilibrium/first order. And on a first order, the "jobs" that folks holding these student visas will be vacated and thus "available" for domestic students. Such nativist views typically fail to grasp that said jobs may simply not be available due to companies sending work to the talent, not just to the trained.
Myopia is a terrible thing to live in denial with, but unfortunately such as things are.
As an international MIT alumni, I can confidently say that this is completely wrong. MIT and Harvard have need-based scholarships, meaning that students pay tuition depending on their financial circumstances. Most of the international students come from poorer countries & families compared to an average domestic student and therefore end up paying a lot less in tuition.
Also, MIT's international undergraduate students are usually around 10% of the whole class. Even if you were right, they don't represent a big enough chunk of the whole class to have a significant impact on the money they're making.
Source: got my PhD at MIT as an international F1 student.
Harvard has a ~$40bn endowment. Even if all 6,500 of its international students are affected, and all of them are paying $50,000 in tuition, and absolutely none of them are replaced, and no economies at all are generated by them not attending, then the university stands to lose slightly less than 1% of that endowment this year.
My point here is that Harvard can amply afford not to raise this issue, and that I rather suspect the issue of principle is more important than you suggest.
A lot of people rightly believe that in person teaching is unsafe. My wife is a professor and chose to teach online for safety concerns. No evil union here. Just reasonable humans trying to do their best in a hard situation and a blowhard at the top trampling over their careful planning for his own satisfaction.
Also, just like your wife is thinking for herself, ICE is thinking for itself and wants to do a good job protecting people. No evil intention, just reasonable humans trying to do their best in hard situation.
P.S : I am a former international student, and professors couldn’t care any less about international students. These ICE rules have been in place for years, and no one fought to change them until it’s actually start hit their funding.
In all this process, International students, who can’t vote are treated badly but this has always been the case, with Obama as well. Immigrants who can’t vote are the easiest barter trade.
That might be true for other universities but not for Harvard and MIT, whose admissions are aid-blind and most international students there receive huge financial aid packages.
There are lower-ranked universities that have programs (usually Masters's ones) that are targeted towards foreign students who can pay a lot of money.
In any case, I was not agreeing with GP, I just think "lower ranked schools" is a bit of a strong statement as that does not conjure images of e.g. Columbia for me, even if it is technically a couple spots lower
I do agree the "universities don't give a shit about their students" sentiment is over the top these days though.
As for sources... I am a former international student at a top US university and I know many others too. Almost no one I've met came from a rich foreign family.
I thought that private institutions like MIT and Harvard charge the same rates for international and domestic students? For example, MIT's page on cost of attendance only lists one tuition rate.
It would be public institutions like the University of California that would stand to lose the most revenue percentage-wise from this policy, right?
edit: see replies below that elaborate on finaid for internationals
I'd expect there's a difference in financial assistance between international and domestic students.
Edit: As pointed out by a response, MIT and Harvard both state that their financial aid is independent of international vs US students.
I was an undergrad at Harvard on an F-1 visa, the financial aid package was blind to residency status. This is unusual - many private schools do discriminate - but not unheard of. Later I looked at grad opportunities at MIT primarily because - unlike many others grad schools - they did fund international students to the same level as domestic.
"However, whether you are a domestic applicant or an international applicant does not impact when or how you apply or the financial aid you are offered. Rather, this page is simply intended to be a helpful resource for people who are less familiar with the American educational system and are trying to figure out how to apply to MIT."
"Our financial aid policies are the same for all applicants, regardless of nationality or citizenship. All aid is based on financial need, and admissions decisions are made without regard to whether an applicant has applied for financial assistance. Harvard meets each student’s demonstrated need."
EDIT: Apparently that not really true.
That's not completely accurate. Both Harvard and MIT claim parity in financial aid for international and domestic students. However, there is a bit of a discrepancy in the way that income is evaluated, higher taxes abroad leading to less post-tax money even for equivalent incomes, as well as non-institutional funding that domestic students are eligible for, but foreign students are not. The overall effect is more of a shift in the distribution of incomes between international and domestic students (i.e. if you're international you will be paying more at the same parental income level), but there is still a level where attendance is basically free.
I think that's true now. I don't remember if it was true 10 years ago when I went through this process, because I do remember submitting financial forms together with the application.
> What about income level of people attending ?
The statistics get published, but I don't think they generally get split out between international and non-international students. Anecdotally, it strongly depends on the country the person comes from. Some smaller countries gear their educational programs towards sending their top students to the top universities abroad and have appropriate recruitment programs in their public schools. For those countries the parental income distribution can be quite varied (not counting of course the taxpayer money spent to say send them around the world to international academic competitions and conferences). I think for countries that don't have such programs (usually because they have excellent domestic programs), you tend to see students come from wealthier backgrounds (that is middle class and up - I don't mean to imply that you need to be filthy rich to get in, just that participating in those activities that look good on US college applications requires a certain amount of money and parental support that needs to be supported from somewhere). That's just my sense though, I don't have any hard data.
This is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Foreign grad students submit to modern academic slave labor, because the long term incentive is American citizenship. Also many don't have student loan debt from their undergrad degree in their home countries, so they can agree to work for low salary.
Americans have no incentive to work hard in poorly paid grad student positions. And they need to start paying their undergrad student loan debt, so they have incentive to find a high-paid job instead of graduate studies. This especially applies to Americans who don't come from a wealthy family background, so often to American minorities.
Making native born people compete vs foreigners willing to work very hard for pennies just to get into the usa will make sure this is always true.
I have a hard time believing that when Harvard rejects 19 out of every 20 applicants.
This was an incredibly dumb decision by ICE.
This is also a solid reason why they have standing to sue in the first place, so it's actually a good thing.
However, it is also well known, that these same universities are insane career fast tracks for them in the US, their home country and elsewhere. There was a reliability to reputed US universities. Pay us all of your family assets + more, but you will make it back soon with a high level of confidence.(esp. in STEM)
Similarly, we understand that the tedious immigration system of US does a great job of capturing the best international students in golden handcuffs, where they get to tax you like a resident, without providing any of the amenities or rights a resident has.
But, life in the US is much better than that in an underdeveloped country, and even the circus hoops we have to jump through aren't sufficient discouragement to choose one over the other. As long as life is less shit than my home nation, I can deal with some abuse. As Hasan Minhaj puts it, it's the "immigrant tax".
We have no delusions of being treated equally to American citizens/residents.
If you can pick a certain amount of cotton, then you are a free man. (/s...but only kinda)
Where this rubs international students the wrong way, is just like the slave analogy, there is no formal agreement and the slave owner is free do what he likes, since ofc, like America he owns the slave. But, most communication happens is not verbal. There was a long understood, quiet honor system. Trump is violating that.
Many of these student's parents have sold off last of their clothes to send their children to the US. Many of these PhD students have been worked down to their bones on minimum wage, just for an American doctorate. Don't change the deal now. Not when these people have already (metaphorically) signed the deal.
I completely support the choice of any American to want stringent borders. That's your prerogative. No one complains about Japan not opening up their doors to the world. Parents won't bankrupt themselves filling the coffers of American colleges and co-located businesses. Students won't destroy their health doing RA/TA jobs that pay far under what they deserve.
There is an unspoken deal an international student signs when they commit $100k+ to the a US institute. In some sense, it is codified in the OPT system. Here, have 3 years to make back some of the money and fuck off. America, please reject these people at the door. Don't take their money, sweat & blood and then kick them out. That's just cruel.
We go out of our way to pick more cotton than the other slaves. Free us, or never make that promise in the 1st place. It was not illegal in 18th century US, but it sure as hell was dick move.
370.000 students from China, 200.000 from India, 52.000 from South Korea.
This policy change affects hundreds of thousands students and must generate a massive loss in economic terms.
It certainly does. But it's worth keeping in mind that you only have to drive about an hour north or west of either campus for "MIT/Hardvard, Boston area landlords and businesses lose out on billions of dollars from foreign students" to flip from bad news to good news.
Look at the politics of this and where ICEs actions stand on the spectrum of immigration, foreign relations and COVID (and probably a couple other issues that I'm not thinking of) and it all makes sense.
The administration will win brownie points among those people who already support it with this policy from the get go. This policy also pits the landlords and business owners in the college towns (who have a big interest in the school's opening, but don't have any love for the administration) against the colleges.
The COVID angle seems to me to be a total fig-leaf for other aims, seeing as the administration didn't do much for public health wrt covid - no strictly enforced lockdowns, no leadership on calling out states opening up too early, and not showing the president wearing a face covering. Also lets be real, the average international student is far less likely to transmit the virus than your average face-covering conspiracy-theorist American. (Especially those from China or SK - places where there are already cultural norms formed around limiting spread of infectious diseases)
Let's call a spade a spade. This is an attempt to enforce extralegal policy limiting immigration to the US via reducing the number of people on student visas.
You're right about where this falls on immigration.
0 - https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/409436-trump-con...
This indicates that even in a "red state", the university towns with lots of international students are already voting left and hurting them with this policy probably wouldn't affect the outcome of the next election.
I suspect this a "heads I win/tails you lose" situation. If schools don't reopen to in-person classes, thousands of foreign kids get kicked out. If schools do open, then hey, the COVID thing can't be that bad since things are back to normal
But surely even if the foreign students are forced to leave the US they'll stay enrolled in (and paying for) the classes. Isn't the education the point?
Given that returning to, say, Beijing would mean your 3 PM Friday class at Harvard happens at 3:00 am Saturday, local (this isn't Coursera – most of these classes will be conducted online with real-time instruction, as they were for the remainder of last semester), I'd expect a lot of students would seek to transfer elsewhere.
It only works, so, if t holds up in court. There, Trumps administration doesn't have the best track record.
I mean, the commenter argued that this whole thing is better for the business even nearby the campus. How could that be? As far as I can see, this actually destroys the business nearby the campus.
Immigration restrictions in general would probably be applauded, but immigration restrictions that only directly affect colleges and cities? Slam dunk for Trump among his base.
EDIT: I read OP that this policy ams to force campuses to open for fall. That would mean more students on site. Even without international ones, that is more than now.
These institutions could fill their student bodies with thousands upon thousands of our own students who get overlooked.
On the other hand they’ve grown used to foreign money filling their coffers.
NIH annual stipends are ~$25k for graduate students and $52-65k for postdocs . There is a massive opportunity cost associated with these positions, _particularly_ for people coming from less affluent backgrounds. It's really hard to accept a 50-70% pay cut (assuming you could otherwise take a tech role) if you have an unprecedented opportunity to contribute to your and your family's financial stability.
Can’t imagine my undergrad, first job out, or grad school without the many international students I made friends and worked with. Part of educating a successful workforce is teaching us how to work and collaborate with people from other backgrounds. Hard to do that if everyone’s from Newton or Westchester
And that's supposedly part of the value proposition of elite schools - mix wealthy and connected students with bright students with ideas.
There's plenty of international students on financial aid too, I think it's doing them a disservice to say they're only being admitted for the revenue. Maybe at larger public institutions with tens of thousands of students, but I don't think that's generally the case at the smaller elite schools we're talking about
So when all of that money goes away, tuition rises and local students get less financial aid. Or said universities and colleges downsize, reducing the number of professors and students attending which means fewer local students get to go to college.
This seems like a 'cut your nose to spite your face' sort of reaction fueled entirely by xenophobia rather than any sort of rational basis.
I’d prefer a kid from the Bronx or san joaquin valley or butte Montana get a scholarship than someone who could choose any school they want (intl students going to these places are not poor).
Do you not realize how bad of an idea it is to just completely cut all of that off? For benefits that aren't even tangible because universities grow to fit the number of students attending?
Again, it's not based in any sort of rational basis. It's xenophobia.
Even Bernie used to say this (before he went national).
Smart local students go to in state public schools to avoid crippling debt.
My very short summary:
- there is a rule in place whereby international students who don't take most classes in person will lose their visa status
- this rule was suspended by ICE on March 13 for the duration of the Covid19 emergency
- ICE now has changed their mind for the Fall semester
- the core part of the complaint is in paragraph 10. It has 2 parts: the ICE u-turn is "arbitrary and capricious and an abuse of discretion", and it did not follow the Administrative Procedure Act.
Now, IANAL, but here's my take: for the first part of the complaint, it's very likely ICE will be able to produce some "analysis" so they can claim their decision was not arbitrary and capricious, but rather made after careful consideration. The second part of the complaint has probably better odds of success. If Harvard and MIT can pinpoint the exact part of the Administrative Procedure Act that ICE did not follow, a judge could issue the injunction. Just recently the Supreme Court overturned Trump administration's decision to revoke DACA based on this Administrative Procedure Act.
In the end though, even if this injunction is issued, it may take months, and it may arrive too late to be of any help for the international students who will lose their visa.
It would be fantastic though if someone with legal expertise were to opine on this in this forum.
To be clear, DHS was not required to do any of this or to
“consider all policy alternatives in reaching [its] decision.”
State Farm, 463 U. S., at 51. Agencies are not compelled to
explore “every alternative device and thought conceivable
by the mind of man.” Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Corp.
v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 435 U. S. 519,
551 (1978). But, because DHS was “not writing on a blank
slate,” post, at 22, n. 14 (opinion of THOMAS, J.), it was required
to assess whether there were reliance interests, determine
whether they were significant, and weigh any such
interests against competing policy concerns.
Having recently been on the right side of a judicial challenge, I must say that in my non-lawyer view, it is quite a powerful check on a decision-maker's discretion.
There is more covid spread in the US today than in March when they created the exemption. If the policy made sense in March, it makes sense today.
Put another way, currently the government is not issuing any non-immigrant visas EXCEPT for student visas. Those students just have to comply with rule that they can't take an entirely online course of study, which has always been the case. The government requires students take at least some in person classes is to enforce the security requirements of the visa.
This change helps nobody and hurts hundreds of thousands. It is cruel.
Most schools will end up offering some in person classes for international students. That solves the problem and isn't a major risk for spreading the virus.
Other schools might not offer that, and their international students will have the option of taking classes online from their home country or not taking classes this semester. A tough decision, but at the end of the day not many students will be in this situation.
This isn't going to be some kind of disaster, people have really overreacted to this.
Clearly not, since ICE was able to adjust the requirements in March for the spring semester. The national emergency is still ongoing. What was stopping them from continuing the exception?
It doesn't say you can't take most classes online, it says you can't take all classes online. In a hybrid model, it gets a little grey, but nothing specifically says you can't take most classes online.
>Nonimmigrant F-1 students attending schools adopting a hybrid model—that is, a mixture of online and in person classes—will be allowed to take more than one class or three credit hours online. These schools must certify to SEVP, through the Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status,” certifying that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.
Dear members of the FAS community,
Shortly after Monday’s announcement about our plans for the fall semester, we learned that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new regulations that imperil the lives and academic progress of our international students and scholars. These new guidelines directly undermine the careful planning and approach we have taken for fall, specifically our plans to deliver all graduate and undergraduate instruction online. This plan was put forth to reconcile the health and safety needs of our community and the vitality of our academic mission, including accounting for the needs of our diverse, global community of students and scholars who face a host of limitations and complications brought about by the pandemic. This reckless reversal by ICE hurts our students and it hurts us as an institution. The FAS is an international community and that is a source of pride and inspiration. That we bring together the voices and perspectives of some of the brightest minds from across the world is fundamental to our intellectual strength and ambitions and must be protected.
While there is still much we don’t know, we are working quickly to respond to the needs of our international students and scholars impacted by this news. To that end, early this morning, President Bacow announced that Harvard, together with MIT, has filed pleadings in the US District Court in Boston to seek a temporary restraining order against the enforcement of this order. In doing so, we continue to be guided by our core principles to protect our academic enterprise and preserve access and affordability for all our students. The new ICE order is a direct threat to that institutional imperative. But we are committed to doing all we can to enable our students and scholars to continue their studies without further disruption to their lives and academic progress in an already uncertain and challenging time.
Many of you have reached out to express your concern about these new regulations and what they will mean for our students. I share your deep distress over this new order, and I assure you that the FAS and the University are working tirelessly to fight on behalf of our international students and scholars. We will explore all avenues and exhaust all options to chart a path forward that protects their place as valued members of the FAS community.
It's the most strongly worded email I've ever seen from Harvard. It seems like they believe that the Trump Administration is trying to manipulate them into opening prematurely, and that they are very cognizant of this.
You're right, and the court filing addresses this explicitly; see 75) in http://orgchart.mit.edu/sites/default/files/reports/20200708...
A smart would-be dictator would now use COVID as strategy to win reelection or post-pone the election. Ideally in a way that doesn't result in public uproar. Instead Trump still tries to ignore COVID into oblivion.
But as Napoleon said, don't interupt your enemy when he's hurting himself.
Go to a US school. Get OPT visa status upon graduation for 3 years. Get a job at a US company using OPT status for your work authorization. Have US company file for a H1B lottery every year until OPT runs out. This whole time you're legally allowed to work in the US.
Edit: I can’t seem to reply to the comment below mine this might be due to the negative karma. I will edit this comment as my reply.
I was a foreigner on a visa for 14 years in America. A lot of these students are playing the system if ICE is deporting them for things like not studying or breaking the rules of the visa then they are doing their job. I have been in their position and they give you a lot of chances if ICE has to grab you then your doing something really wrong.
Edit #2: reply button is back.
Edit #3: you can downvote me as much as you want but it doesn’t change facts.
Instead they chose to announce this and give universities 9 days to get everything figured out.
This is patently immoral for visa holders that would otherwise be allowed to be in the country given any other circumstances (ie not a global pandemic)
The timing is also incredibly sudden. Graduate students have been in the US for 5-10 years. They have leases and cars and friends. Giving them a few weeks before deporting them is cruel.
Note: I support the lawsuit, I have many friends who are or were international students, I live in Boston, just wondering how this would affect research-based grad students.
 https://ois.usc.edu/students/maintainingstudentstatus/, https://international.northeastern.edu/ogs/maintaining-statu..., etc. (many schools have some version of this FAQ page on their websites)
I do know that I have faculty friends who have had their grad students come to them in tremendous distress related to this policy. So at least some people believe that this would deport graduate students who have advanced to candidacy.
This is the intention of the Trump admin's policy: discouraging people from immigrating by whatever ugly means necessary, no matter if illegal or not. This has been a consistent line from the beginning with the infamous "muslim ban".
You’ve been in their situation of being forced to attend in-person classes during a pandemic?
Edit: To the OP, I know how the system is played too, many immigration cases involve some level of fraud. Regardless, the cruelty factor of the system is that it allows you to commit your life to living here, while at the same time maintaining the threat of the rug being pulled out from right under you. It’s intense, and I’d like to see some of that mitigated.
“Immediate deportation” is the scariest thing for anyone without a Green card.
Nobody is gaming the system here. These are normal students who just want to live their lives without being told to pack up and leave with a couple weeks notice.
Can you imagine the stress knowing that even if you do literally everything right that some bonehead who hates immigrants can change policy and suddenly make you need to completely rearrange your life?
Is a pandemic not a good enough reason to create exceptions?
More importantly, if this administration could create exceptions for tax filing, printing money and stopping evictions, why can't they do it for the health of schools and educators?
Pandemic is a good reason for exceptions they can bring this up in immigration court. That’s what it’s for.
They should have changed the law way before ICE came don’t you think? Why is it a concern now? I feel like something isn’t being presented.
> However I feel there is more to this story. We can’t just tell Treasury and FED to ignore the law. The law should be updated if necessary but as of now it’s the law.
Pandemic is a good reason for exceptions they can bring this up in supreme court. That’s what it’s for.
> They should have changed the law way before the FED came don’t you think? Why is it a concern now? I feel like something isn’t being presented.
Either you are being naive or more likely evasive. We elect lawmakers to make the right choices on our behalf, NOT to rigidly debate laws in emergencies. Selectively applying exceptions in one place while not at another (clearly marked by partisan politics) is NOT representative.
But this completely misunderstands how scary it is to be trying to follow the rules as somebody on a visa. "Let me try this weird loophole and hope that no agent comes to me and says 'get out of the country by the end of the week' for violating the spirit of the law" is not a compelling option.
US Immigration is already a Kafkaesque nightmare of confusion and uncertainty. Creating the equivalent of a green card marriage in an almost completely transparent and obvious manner isn't going to put people at ease.
This is not about Harvard and MIT at all, except insofar as they wound up being the ones with the position and deep pockets to most quickly file a strong suit to stop it.
Higher ed tuition pricing is bound for a massive correction.
The administration recently hinted that they will be blocking Chinese apps such as TikTok from being used in the US.
The administration also hinted at breaking the currency peg to the dollar.
A cold war is ongoing.
Imagine us being students and having to go through the pain, while Covid is all over the map.
What a world.
What is the motivation for desiring this, in your view?