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Old 9th July 2020, 12:31   #1
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Default Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

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The Donald Trump administration has asked foreign students in the US, whose colleges have shifted to online teaching, to shift to schools that have in-person classes or leave the country, a move that potentially would affect thousands of Indian students in America.
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In a big setback for Indian students, the United States on Monday, 6 July, said it would not allow foreign students to remain in the country if all of their classes are moved online in the fall season. This move by the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement will impact more than an estimated 200,000 Indian students pursuing higher education in the US.
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Tens of thousands of Indian students in the United States found their future in jeopardy on Tuesday after the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said it will not allow student visas holders to remain in the country if their school goes fully online for the fall.

Many of these students said they planned their careers around their US education and the new rules will either kill future career prospects or force them to attend classes in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic. To stay in the US, foreign students must transfer to another school with in-person instruction.
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Some universities have announced they will deliver all courses online due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 2.9 million people and killed more than 130,000 in the US alone. Other universities are still planning to run classes on campus, but with the US outbreak still not under control, there's a risk that those institutions could go remote, too.
More than half of international students in the US come from Asia. In the 2018-2019 academic year, 370,000 students were from China, 202,000 from India, and 52,000 from South Korea.
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Now some relief has been provided to the students holding F1 and M1 visas as the authorities are temporarily modifying some rules.

The students would have to report to their respective departments and their embassies now and could continue to live on their F1 and M1 visas until the further decision comes in. The US administration has not asked them to immediately leave the country. This decision is valid for all the international students and not just the Indian students.
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Old 10th July 2020, 09:09   #2
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

Quite a sad scene for students, and a TERRIBLE decision by the administration. International students greatly contribute to the economy by paying stiff tuition fees + living expenses, and are a giant feeder to the talent pool of USA (just check out who is currently leading Google, Microsoft, Adobe, Deloitte, Mastercard...).

For Indian students, such a foolish rule is a body blow. For no fault of theirs. After making huge investments and moving to a new country, they are facing the real possibility of moving back? USA is anyway getting a bad rap among international students (recent H1B troubles not helping), and this will further push students toward Canada & other countries.

Harvard & MIT have sued the government - full news article:

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Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed the lawsuit against Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow said the visa move's "cruelty [is] surpassed only by its recklessness".

Many colleges are moving courses online amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Harvard had on Monday announced it would hold all classes online for the autumn term, with only 40% of undergraduates housed on campus.

Last edited by GTO : 10th July 2020 at 09:10.
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Old 10th July 2020, 09:18   #3
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

Btw this affects all international students, not only Indians, even if we make the largest share of the international pie. Also there are students from countries who use the education route to bypass the political and social conditions of their countries.


Also as a side effect, this could bring in some needed changes in how these US colleges are managing their funds and upkeep of the ecosystem, primarily benefiting from the constant influx of funds wrt overseas students.

Hasan Minaj did an excellent piece on this, worth a watch for sure

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Old 10th July 2020, 09:27   #4
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

If this had happened in India, the leader would have been called Foreign Agent for sending the Students and their Talent to neighbour Country. Canada is grabbing all those who have waited endlessly for Green Card.
If not the best, grab the Second best is the rule of the day. Cancellation of International Flights would hold the affected students for the time being. We hope and wish that something favorable may come in this period.
Resistance to the ill directives by leading Universities is one ray of hope. The Universities may change 100% Online academics and might hold reduced Physical Attendance classes to beat the rule.
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Old 10th July 2020, 09:31   #5
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

The dialogue above is from Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises.

It’s often attributed incorrectly to Mark Twain or or misquoted as something like “At first you go bankrupt slowly, then all at once.” But the theme is the same.

Nations go bankrupt in the same way as companies - at first gradually and then suddenly. Bankrupt here need not just be limited to a financial definition. It could be politically, culturally, morally, resource wise and in many other ways - maybe all of them or only some of them or only one.

History is generous with examples of entire nations that have suffered this fate, from the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 to Argentina’s millennial financial crisis in 2001. The warning signs are always there, even at the beginning. Over a period of years, sometimes decades, a tiny trickle of warning signs turns into a steady stream… and eventually a great flood.

The United States is clearly well into this journey. A nation with 120 guns for every hundred people. A nation with a military expenditure greater than the GDP of 166 of the world's 186 countries. A nation that has the largest billionaires and cannot or will not pay for the healthcare of its poorest 20%. A lot is not well and it is systemic. I believe over the next 40 years we will witness tectonic shifts in influence and power of countries across the globe. The US is doing itself no favours. This new policy is but one more scar on a long term trend of decline due to parochialism. I hope they have a change of President in November but who knows what drama lies ahead.

Last edited by Aditya : 13th July 2020 at 07:07. Reason: Typo
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Old 10th July 2020, 10:09   #6
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

Trump wants educational institutions to reopen and let people inside.

Those who do not comply will lose funding, colleges like Harvard is rich enough that the only way to get them to comply is by sending their cash cow home - foreign students. The new order is to hit Harvard , it started recently with Harvard taking money from the Corona virus fund and Trump wanting Harvard to return that money saying that Harvard is the richest University perhaps in the world itself.

Considering education being very essential to our civilized existence, perhaps opening educational institutions is the right thing to do.
Our HRD ministry too wants to reopen educational institutions by end of this month or next month.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 10th July 2020 at 16:14. Reason: typos: Har'v'ard.
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Old 10th July 2020, 10:41   #7
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
TERRIBLE decision by the administration.
Inhuman, to say the least, and in line with the hire - and - fire policy of most multinationals.

Did they even give a thought to the plight of such innocent students?

However, one must always weigh the risks of studying or working overseas and be prepared for changes in rules for expatriates.
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Old 10th July 2020, 11:59   #8
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

I think too much is being made about this issue. If the entire course is online it is no different from being a MOOC, right? Should student visas be given for a MOOC also?

Having said that, the foremost principle of any law or rules is it should be prospective and not retrospective. Current students should not get affected by change of rules.
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Old 10th July 2020, 13:02   #9
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

If the US universities can successfully carry on a course online, I think it is only a matter of times when they offer a digital course, with same degree as the US one. It will be considerably cheaper, as the cost of boarding will not be applicable, and people interested in the degree can get it from anywhere. Of course those looking for connections and staying experience will have to shell out full cost.
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Old 10th July 2020, 16:33   #10
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

This is where international students in USA come from (source)
Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country-screenshot_20200710161143_samsung-internet.jpg

We would be second largest affected by this move. This comes at a time when we have an impressive show of Sikh community in US.

Gurdwaras are offering free meals every day in California, Memphis, St. Louis and even on a food truck.
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We thought, 'we'll run it two or three days a week -- good deed done, pat on the back, Within the first week, however, the lines got crazy.

Hunger has no days off, so there's no way we can serve less often than every day.

On the busiest days, the line of cars can reach two or three miles long.
...Gurupreet Singh
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Old 12th July 2020, 12:01   #11
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

Donald Trump has been actively belittling the COVID-19 pandemic and advocating that the outbreak is well under control in the United States.

I believe this is merely a ploy to force institutes to open up to in-person classes by threatening to take away a major source of their funding, in the process establishing a false sense of normalcy. Many of these have also been a part of BLM protests which in all likelihood has further riled up Trump and made them a target.

I was supposed to head there for my Master's in August but deferred my admission so that I can join in January instead. I'm not keen on taking up online classes either as I've been out of college for 4 years now and the time zone difference will only make it more tricky. A large part of going to an institution held in high regard is also the networking opportunities and facilities that come with it, else, as somebody already pointed out, we might as well take up MOOCs. Do I wish that they adjusted their fee structure accordingly? Most definitely.

However, I just don't think it's safe enough for them to open up to in-person classes just yet. At least not at full scale when you consider that the infection rate is very high (66,000 more yesterday). My university had earlier suggested that courses with more than 20 students will be held online which IMO makes perfect sense. Post this regulation, they have now put out a notice that they will do their best within scientific reason, something that the President has hardly found comfort in, and have also joined the lawsuit with MIT and Harvard. In the meantime, they have pledged support for current students, proposing 'Hybrid' course structures (partially online) for them, possibly at low class strengths.

This scenario has definitely rattled my confidence though, especially looking at opportunities in the long run. I'm glad that I hold an admit to a college in a more friendly country but if you're ambitious, the US is the place to be. I will be watching the situation unfold keenly before I take a call.
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Old 12th July 2020, 12:26   #12
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

It is all about election. Trump hopes to win on the basis of a strong economy and that means business staying open. He is also trying to keep the schools open. If somehow the students hang in there till the elections are done with then it should be all right for them.
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Old 12th July 2020, 17:18   #13
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

I am a student in my second year of master's in the US.

This move has been criticised by all the universities. Many universities including mine were in the thought process of adding an offline course worth 1 credit just for international students so that they can continue to stay in the US.

My university has confirmed that they will have options of offline courses (hybrid model of teaching) in the Fall 2020 semester and will ensure that the international students will not have to pack their bags.

The main problem with the Trump's decision is that, it is not safe anywhere in the US for offline teaching. Since international students will be forced to opt in-person classes, as a result, they will pose threat to everyone on campus classes and housing. This will not benefit the society as a whole.

IMO, the decision was made to discourage incoming new batch of students in Fall 2020. Now, most of the students will try to defer their admission for next semester or next year which will impact the economy of all the universities.
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Old 12th July 2020, 17:57   #14
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

As per latest statement, he is trying to retain the Top notch ones by offering to adopt Merit Based Immigration. This is what he says that he shall come up with - How far he goes or does anything positive is yet to be seen.
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Old 12th July 2020, 20:21   #15
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Default Re: Indian students in the USA are in big trouble; thousands would have to leave the country

If authorities are sure that they wont reopen for over a year, this could be a good move. The students can return to their home country and take up the classes online. They can visit again when on-prem classes resume. It may be cheaper for the non-Us students and can have comfort of being in their homes with their family. Of course, they will have to bear a ticket cost, it may still be cheaper.
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