July 09, 2020

Cortez Masto Urges ICE and DHS to Immediately Withdraw New Guidance that Threatens International Students

Las Vegas, Nev. – U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) joined 95 Senate and House colleagues in a letter to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) urging the agencies to withdraw new guidance issued by ICE that imperils the status of international students who would be studying online at U.S. universities this coming academic year. The guidance threatens international students with deportation if they do not comply with the requirement that they take in-person classes.

“ICE’s announcement of their plans to force out or deport international students who remain at U.S. colleges and universities and who are taking a full online course load is cruel and unconscionable,” the lawmakers wrote. “These students are already in the United States, are established members of educational communities, and have been determined through the visa screening process to pose no danger to the United States.”

In the letter, the lawmakers expressed deep concerns that ICE’s guidance is motivated not by public health considerations, but rather by animus toward immigrants, with a goal of forcing schools to reopen even as COVID-19 cases are rising, and with a desire to create an illusion of normalcy during an emergency. 

A full copy of the letter can be found HERE.