09 Jul Speaking Out Against ICE and SEVP Modifications
Delta Epsilon Psi Fraternity Inc.
Speaking Out Against ICE and SEVP Modifications
July 9th, 2020
On Monday July 6, 2020, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced updates to policy that severely limits enrollment options for international students in the United States. These recent modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) remove the ability for international students to remain in the United States if the institution they attend operates entirely online, or if their curriculum is modified to a completely online format during the Fall 2020 semester. A temporary exemption was granted to standard SEVP policy in response to the onset of COVID-19 earlier this year, allowing international students to remain in the country while many schools transitioned to primarily online learning. However, this recent reversal creates impossible situations for many of these students.
Educational institutions across the United States, including those that host charters of our organization, have been faced with difficult decisions regarding what education will look like this fall. The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique challenges as health experts recommend limited gathering sizes and social distancing guidelines, a concept that is non-traditional in educational settings. We support our partners in higher education making decisions with the safety of their students at the forefront of their conversations, and we implore you to continue doing so. We also encourage you to elevate the voices of your international students and take direct action against these policy updates that have the ability to severely disrupt their education. International Students travel from around the world to the United States to learn in world class educational institutions, while enhancing our societal composition through their own individual means. These students often petition for F-1 or M-1 visas, among others, in order to be granted access to this country’s higher education system. Foreign employees working in the U.S. often are granted nonimmigrant visa classifications such as H1B in order to pursue their work, and their dependents or children often petition for F-1 and M-1 visas to pursue educational endeavors.
As a culturally based fraternal organization, Delta Epsilon Psi stands firmly against the recent SEVP updates and sees these decisions as acts of discrimination and xenophobia. These changes create unnecessary barriers of access to opportunity and quality education while actively hindering cultural diversity in the United States. Delta Epsilon Psi welcomes individuals from around the world, including those with various immigration statuses. We have a responsibility to lift the voices of those who are currently affected by this weak one-size-fits-all method to a complicated issue, leaving students with the difficult choice of departing this country or altering their educational endeavors. Individuals from the South Asian diaspora, as well as those from other national and cultural backgrounds, have historically paved their way to the United States in search for greater opportunity, shaping the outlook of the entire nation as they do so. Furthermore, international students are an integral element to the education system, just as immigrants are to the composition of our country. To all of our international brothers, and to all international students affected by this, we stand by you and recognize the impact these changes may have on your education, as well as your mental and emotional capacities.
The Brothers of Delta Epsilon Psi voice the concerns of international students as a result of these policy updates and feel it is prudent to share the facts so that the community can prepare. We encourage all members of our organization, the international student community, and their allies to help combat these changes actively in hopes that this order will be reversed or modified. We urge all members of the international student community to reach out to their respective universities to attain guidance on their individual case immediately. Below are some key facts, links to petitions, resources, and further calls-to-action:
Key Facts to Know
Students with F-1 or M-1 visas will not be allowed to participate in an entirely online Fall semester.
Students already in the U.S. whose universities have moved to a full online delivery may need to transfer to other schools providing in-person instruction, depart the country, or face potential deportation.
If your institution offers hybrid classes, policy states you may take more than three online credit hours online, however you must also enroll in an in-person course to remain in the United States.
If the school you are attending is conducting in person classes, you are still bound by the 5-month rule (if you do not return to the country within 5 months your visa will be terminated).
Fact Sheet – International Students and Remote Learning in Fall 2020 – Penn State Law
Sign the Petition – Let International Students Stay – Change.org
Sign the Petition – Allow International Students to Finish Their Degrees – White House Petition
Contact your University Administration & Representatives Using the Template Below
View In-Person Class Availability – Student Run Resource
Above is a student run resource collecting and distributing information on in-person classes available at certain universities. Note: Please continue to take caution and adhere to proper COVID-19 health safety guidelines.