On July 10, Trump’s administration announced that international students had the option of either taking in-person classes or losing their student visa – and as a result being deported to their home countries. The decision was rescinded, but the situation for international students is still dire. International students who are enrolling at their colleges for the first time, or who would start taking classes at an American university this fall, will still have to face the choice to take at least one in-person class or not get a visa.
Regardless of whether this decision will remain the same until the first day of classes in the fall, the fact is that such attacks on international students are not new.
In fact, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) was known for creating fake universities to attract students with the promise of receiving an F-1 Visa, and then deporting them. And recently there has been an attempt by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to tighten the penalty for minor infractions – like dropping a course – resulting in the student losing their visa or even being prevented from getting into the U.S. for years.
The way that these decisions have been implemented during a global pandemic shows what people’s lives are worth to the system that Trump represents. It is clear that a government that works for the interest of big business will use any means necessary to reopen the economy, while at the same time using anti-immigration hysteria and xenophobia to create divisions among people, all of whom are oppressed and exploited by the system one way or another.
featured image credit: Jim Michaud / Boston Herald