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UC-AFT Statement on ICE Rule Barring Fully Online International Students


July 8, 2020


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UC-AFT, the union of teaching faculty and librarians at the University of California, condemns the temporary rule issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that would block international students with F-1 and M-1 visas from remaining in the U.S. while taking a fully online course load at a school operating entirely online.


While the extent of the rule’s applicability and enforcement is currently unclear, what is clear is a reprehensible attempt to capitalize on the COVID-19 crisis to push a racist agenda. Colleges and universities may be forced to choose between being coerced into risky in-person instruction or being complicit with the deportations of their students.


UC-AFT calls on the University of California Office of the President and all ten UC campuses to defend students against xenophobia. We deplore the notion that in-person instruction should happen at the expense of students’ and workers’ lives. We are outraged that ICE is influencing decisions that should be made on the basis of protecting public health and educational integrity.


Public colleges and universities that depend on private tuition dollars to fund their operating costs are particularly vulnerable to attacks such as this one. Therefore we once again call on the California legislature to fully fund public higher education and commit to it as a common good that cannot be instrumentalized.