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Trump’s Capricious and Cruel Guidelines Put International Students and their Families at Risk

The decision by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to revoke the visas of degree-seeking international students if their institutions move to online instruction in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic has no purpose other than to advance President Trump’s radically isolationist agenda. These capricious and cruel new guidelines put the lives and livelihoods of international students and their families, including many CWA members who work in higher education, at risk. The Trump Administration is forcing these students to show up in person for classes in the middle of the pandemic if they wish to remain in the United States.

“Playing political games with international students’ visa statuses in a cynical attempt to force campuses to re-open in person in the fall, despite clear evidence that indoor activity and proximity is a leading cause of COVID-19 spread, is both dangerous and xenophobic--par for the Trump course,” said CWA Public, Healthcare and Education Workers Vice President Margaret Cook.

Not only has the administration failed to protect workers from this virus, policies like this actively increase the risk of exposure and accelerate infections in communities across the country. The new ICE guidelines are unacceptable and wrong. CWA is monitoring the effect of these guidelines on our members, providing guidance on how they can best protect their health and safety, and working with allies across the country to oppose this reckless policy.

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