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Judge reverses international student policy


Update July 14: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) lifted the policy that required international students to take in-person classes to remain in the country.

A federal judge, Allison D. Burroughs, announced the reversal during a hearing on Tuesday. This comes about a week after the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) said nonimmigrant students with an F-1 or M-1 visa would not be able to take a fully online course load and stay in the U.S.

ICE will use the guidance from March that allows students on F-1 visas to take online classes.

The original version of the story follows below.

On-campus classes to be offered for international students

TCU plans to offer an on-campus class option for all international students.

In an email to faculty on Friday updating them on plans for the upcoming semester, Provost Teresa Dahlberg wrote, “. . . we will ensure that all international students at TCU will be able to take one of their courses in a face-to-face on campus mode.”

Colleges, universities and international students have been scrambling since Monday, when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that international students who take all of their course work online in the fall would face deportation. 

“Nonimmigrant students within the United States are not permitted to take a full course of study through online classes,” according to a news release from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. 

The change added another challenge to colleges already trying to figure out how to return to in-person classes amid the ongoing pandemic. 

Connie Deighton is a diver for TCU swimming and diving. (Photo courtesy of Connie Deighton.)

John Singleton, the director of international services, said his department was working with the Office of the Provost to develop a number of classes for students to take.

Dahlberg explained that undergraduate students will have a special one-credit hour, on-campus course for those who need an on-campus option, and graduate program directors will have at least one of their courses on campus.

Singleton said he heard from a large number of students who are worried about the temporary rule change. 

Connie Deighton, a junior psychology major from London, England, is worried about returning in the fall.

“My initial reaction was fear when I heard about ICE,” Deighton said. “It does scare me to come back to America as the fear of deportation will be a consistent thought.”

More than 2,6000 peopled signed a petition that urged the university to make at least one in-person class for students.

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