Could Online Education Wipe Out the Student Visa?

Without student visas how will Chinese spies penetrate American schools and how will Islamic terrorists come to America?

But wait, let's pull back a little bit. ICE has made a fairly common sense decision with bigger implications that has Democrats in an uproar.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Monday that international students in the U.S. whose schools switch to online classes for the fall semester will have to leave the country or risk violating their visa status.

Under the new rule, foreign nationals enrolled in U.S. educational institutions will have to leave the country unless part of their course load this fall is taken in-person. 

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) had allowed for foreign students to take their spring and summer 2020 courses online while remaining in the United States, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its announcement, SEVP said foreign students who do not transfer to in-person programs and remain in the United States while enrolled in online courses could face "immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings."

What actually is the argument for foreign students remaining physically in the United States if all they're doing is logging into Zoom?

There actually isn't one, which doesn't prevent Democrats from ripping out their hair and wailing at the skies for purely political reasons.

"ICE is now trying to deport students enrolled in colleges and universities that are teaching exclusively online due to COVID-19. This is needlessly cruel and must be challenged in court," Julian Castro tweeted.

But why do they actually need to be in this country? Will their education be significantly improved with American Wi-Fi?

The Charlotte Observer editorial board is already wailing

It’s hardly breaking news that Donald Trump’s immigration policies are laced with bigotry. From putting children in cages to justifying it by saying their families “infest our country,” it’s no secret the president considers immigrants as something lesser... The guidelines are not only cruel, but nonsensical. They hurt just about everyone - students, the universities and colleges they might attend, and the states that will now feel a new economic pinch. And all at the worst possible time.

Yes, Orangeman Bad! But why do foreigners taking online classes need to be in America?

Given the lateness of the ICE guidelines, foreign students at schools with online-only classes are left with few good options. For most, the window to transfer closed months ago. For many who are well into their degree requirements, finding another school doesn’t make sense academically, anyway. And if COVID worsens and more schools move to online classes - as Harvard University announced Monday - more students will be left with nowhere to go but out of the country.

And what's wrong with that? Why do they need to transfer into in-person classes? Why can't they just go back home?

That prospect also is bad for colleges and universities, which covet the out-of-state tuition that international students pay. That’s especially true for state universities across the country, including in North Carolina, that have been squeezed by years of budget cuts and took a significant financial hit from COVID in the spring. Many are facing an additional blow as students and families mull whether they want to pay full freight for online classes and a diminished campus experience this academic year.

If the classes are offering real value online, then wouldn't foreign students benefit from lowering costs by returning home?

What the Charlotte Observer is really admitting is that foreign students come to US schools for the visas, and without the visas, won't be paying top dollar for Zoom classes.

Could this be the end of the student visa? But then how will Chinese spies and Islamic terrorists enter America?

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