ICE: Do Not Deport International Students

Target: Matthew Albence, Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Goal: Do not deport international students with online classes.

The United States has some of the best universities in the world, which draw students from around the globe. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is using the COVID-19 pandemic to further its xenophobic agenda by expelling international students whose studies will be online in the fall. This does nothing to protect the U.S. from COVID-19 and worsens things for international students who have already had to deal with the challenging circumstances of the pandemic.

In March, when many schools shut down their campuses, international students had to scramble to figure out what to do. Many had to pack up unexpectedly and others were stranded and unable to return home as flights were cancelled. Now the future is uncertain for students, as universities can’t seem to make up their minds about whether they should bring students back to campus. University statements have waffled between reopening in full, holding hybrids of in-person and online classes, or switching to online for the semester. Many of these plans are still being hashed out.

International students are already frustrated and stressed about their education during the COVID-19 pandemic. For many international students returning home is not easy and staying in the United States makes the most sense for them. For many more the U.S. has become their home. The U.S. even benefits from hosting international students, receiving a boost out of higher attendance rates and increased participation in our economy. Not only that, many PhD students and candidates on student visas are working on COVID-19 research that could help to end this pandemic.

International students should be able to stay in the U.S. if they so choose. Using the pandemic as an excuse for deportation is deplorable. Sign the petition to demand that international students not be deported.


Dear Mr. Albence,

The new rule to suspend visas for international students whose fall courses will be held online is unfair and highly xenophobic. These students contribute to our nation’s economy and have already suffered from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many have been stranded in the United States, and throwing them out does nothing to protect the nation.

It has already been very challenging for international students as universities are still planning how the fall semester will look. It is also difficult for many of them to return home at this time. I demand that you allow international students to stay in the United States even if their classes are online.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Police


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