Anti-Immigration Sentiments from ICE threatens but fails to remove International Students from studying at CSUDHcsudhbulletin July 14, 2020 0 COMMENTS
Photo by Nitish Meena on Unsplash
By Brenda Fernanda Verano, News Editor
As an estimated one million international students with hopes of studying in the U.S., along with the colleges and universities that were planning on hosting them, try to figure out how to deal with regulations announced last week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), one thing is clear: the anti-immigrant rhetoric espoused by President Donald Trump and enacted by his administration isn’t reserved for the “illegal” immigration” of people of color, it is a xenophobic fanning of racist flames against all immigrants. This includes international students with student visas, who the majority of them come from India and China, and whose sole intentions are to obtain the best education possible.
President Trump has downplayed the coronavirus on various occasions, yet his administration has now used the virus towards their advantage when implementing this student ban. The government only treats the coronavirus with seriousness and is no longer a hoax to them when talking about immigration and the misgiving of all immigrants. But not when hospitals continue to have inefficient and inadequate equipment to keep COVID-19 patients alive.
As of recently, the downplaying of the virus by President Trump has been a concern for students nationwide as Trump continues to push and urge schools to open up as early as the fall semester, even as California continues leading the charts in COVID-19 death and infections. The reality is that the educational industry in the country is looked at and treated as a growing business, with higher education reaching new levels of corporate day by day.
Dr. Salhi explains how this new regulation is potentially a tactic to negatively affect the pockets of universities who have refused to open and relent the pressure under the perceived threat of losing revenues that the universities would have generated from the tuition international students pay.
“[Trump] can’t force universities to open, but they can use these federal decisions as punishment because international students contribute so much to the revenues of their universities,” Salhi said.
While international students do benefit universities in the amount of money they generate through higher tuition fees, Salhi said their real benefits come through the “huge value on the intellectual and educational growth of the university.”
The narrative that reduces international students to merely profit-generators is harmful. They should be welcomed and protected and not made to feel they are all alone in this not because of dollars, but because they are people. People who have made a leap of faith in choosing to leave their homes and families in order to obtain the best college education possible. And rather than threaten them with deportation over something they have no control over like the way schools operate, they should be further embraced for who they are and where they are from.
Anessa Escobar, the International Student Services (ISS) adviser wants international students to know that they are not alone and that the ISS office is here to support them. “The ISS office is doing its best to keep students informed of any new developments, we will be resuming the weekly zoom meetings for international students,” she said.
The creation of ICE has served to endorse systemic racism and xenophobia against immigrants and has dehumanized and terrorized the immigrant community on physical, verbal, and psychological levels. These new guidelines were just a nicer and legal way to spell out D-E-P-O-R-T-A-T-I-O-N, and aimed to perpetuate a not-so-subtle act of discrimination and xenophobia against international students like those of CSUDH who the majority come from countries populated by people of color like China, India, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.
Say it, dream it, envision it, and organize around the idea that a world without ICE is possible. The abolishment of ICE and the protection of human rights is reachable.
If you are an international student or an ally, here are a few ways you can support;
Spread the word. This news is fairly new, make sure you are reaching out to international students you know and informing them of the new regulations. Be a support to your friends and family who might be impacted by this but remember that they don’t owe you information, they are not there not to educate you around the topic.
Sign petitions. Click here to prevent ICE from deporting international students.
Contact your federal representatives and urge them to advocate for the reverse of ICE regulations.