Leaders from 12 Christian organizations on Friday called on the Trump administration to lift a policy that international students in the United States will have to leave or change countries if their colleges are fully teaching online this semester, saying that “this does not correspond to American ideals “.
In a letter to Acting Minister of Homeland Security, Chad Wolf, which was shared with The Associated Press news agency, the leaders wrote that politics “deprived our country of significant contribution” to international students on both a personal and international level also contribute to their universities on an economic level. There is “lack of compassion”
“International students who have already arrived in the United States and are taking courses should be able to complete their courses in that country without further interruptions,” said those responsible. “It is reasonable, compassionate, and in line with our national interests.”
Signatories include: Walter Kim, President of the National Association of Evangelicals; President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Shirley Hoogstra; and Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Freedom Commission.
A new visa regime would jeopardize the education of nearly a million international students and harm hundreds of colleges and universities, including in Maine. This policy needs to be repealed so that students can keep their visa when attending class online due to COVID-19. pic.twitter.com/vGwxA1yvzh
– Senator Susan Collins (@SenatorCollins), July 9, 2020
US immigration and customs officials announced on Monday that more than a million international students in the country will not be able to attend all of their courses online this semester. The agency informed the colleges that foreign students at schools that are fully online this semester will not be issued new visas and that those who are already in the U.S. will need to transfer or leave the country.
Foreign students are not allowed to attend all classes online, even if an outbreak causes their schools to postpone classes online according to the guidelines.
The decision was criticized by universities and educational groups, who say that the rules unnecessarily endanger student safety. Many universities rely on the income of foreign students, who are usually charged higher tuition fees.
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have sued to block politics, and California was the first state to file an injunction against them.
Kim and Moore signed a letter back in April calling on the Trump administration to consider releasing low-security immigrants, particularly those at higher risk of the coronavirus, to help social distance during the Ease pandemic. They are, along with several others who join the Friday letter, part of the Evangelical Immigration Table, a group of Christian leaders who are committed to immigration reform.
Other signatories to Friday’s letter include: the president of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a campus ministry; the executive director of the international student union in Cru, formerly known as Campus Crusade for Christ; and the president of World Relief, a Christian humanitarian group.