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更新时间:2020-7-11 7:11:39 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名 浏览:

Trump Visa Rules Seen as Way to Pressure Colleges on Reopening

LOS ANGELES — A directive by the Trump administration that would strip international college students of their U.S. visas if their coursework was entirely online prompted widespread confusion on Tuesday as students scrambled to clarify their statuses and universities reassessed their fall reopening policies amid the coronavirus pandemic.


The White House measure, announced on Monday, was seen as an effort to pressure universities into reopening their gates and abandoning the cautious approaches that many have announced they would adopt to reduce Covid-19 transmission.


The effect may be to dramatically reduce the number of international students enrolling in the fall. Together with delays in processing visas as a result of the pandemic, immigrant advocates say the new rules, which must still be finalized later this month, might discourage many overseas students from attending American universities, where they often pay full tuition.


“The financial repercussions to institutions are potentially very traumatic,” said Daniel J. Hurley, chief executive of the Michigan Association of State Universities, which represents the state’s public universities. He cited studies showing that 33,236 international students contributed $1.2 billion to Michigan’s economy in 2018.

“对学校的财政影响可能非常大,”代表该州公立大学的密歇根州立大学协会(Michigan Association of State Universities)首席执行官丹尼尔·J·赫尔利(Daniel J. Hurley)说。他援引的研究显示,2018年,33236名国际学生为密歇根州的经济贡献了12亿美元。

Janet Napolitano, the president of the University of California system and a former Homeland Security secretary under President Barack Obama, described the rule as a “double whammy” that would probably result in budget cuts at many schools, which have already suffered financially during the pandemic.

加州大学系统校长、奥巴马总统时期任国土安全部长的珍妮特·纳波利塔诺(Janet Napolitano)称这一规定是“双重打击”,很可能导致许多在疫情期间已经遭受财政损失的学校削减预算。

“Universities don’t need any extra pressure to reopen,” Ms. Napolitano said. “I think most universities would love to reopen and be fully in-person on classes and have their dorms fully occupied.”


But the concern that their campuses could become coronavirus clusters has prompted many universities to adopt measures to reduce exposure, from requiring masks in classrooms to limiting social activities to reducing the number of students invited back to campus. Many have announced a hybrid approach that would provide some in-person classes but offer a significant amount of coursework virtually.


Such changes could put foreign students’ visas, known as F-1 visas, at risk under the new rules. International students whose universities are not planning in-person classes — which is currently the case at schools including the University of Southern California and Harvard — would be required to return to their home countries if they are already in the United States. Those overseas would not be granted permission to enter the country to take online coursework here.


Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, the acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, said in an interview on CNN that the administration was providing more flexibility for international students than in the past, when they could only take one online course to qualify for visas. Now they can take more, as long as at least some of their instruction is in person.

美国国土安全部代理副部长肯尼思·T·库奇内利二世(Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II)在接受CNN采访时表示,政府为国际学生提供了比过去更大的灵活性,过去他们要拿到签证只能修一门在线课程。现在他们可以修更多在线课程,只要其中部分教学是通过面授进行的。

“If they’re not going to be a student or they’re going to be 100 percent online, then they don’t have a basis to be here,” Mr. Cuccinelli said, adding, “They should go home, and then they can return when the school opens.”


To maintain their status, many international students raced this week to enroll in in-person classes, even if they were not connected to their majors, and students at nearly a dozen universities launched an online spreadsheet so that American students could try to swap in-person course spots with their foreign classmates.


“There’s slim pickings for classes, and they all filled up so fast once the news came out that we’re pretty much left with no option,” said Rhea Joshi, an Indian citizen and rising senior at the University of California Los Angeles who is seeking a swap.

“可供选择的课程很少,消息一出来,所有的课程很快就满了,我们几乎别无选择,”来自印度的雷娅·乔希(Rhea Joshi)说。她在加州大学洛杉矶分校就读,即将升入大四,正在寻求面授课程的交换机会。

Loay Alem, 19, an engineering student from Saudi Arabia, said he has put down a $1,000 security deposit on an apartment for the fall, enrolled in several online courses and paid tuition at U.C.L.A., which had about 5,800 international students last academic year. “I was all set to start sophomore year,” he said.

19岁的卢埃·阿莱姆(Loay Alem)是一名来自沙特阿拉伯的工程专业学生。他说已为秋季的公寓付了1000美元的押金,并且参加了几门在线课程,还在加州大学洛杉矶分校交了学费,该校去年有5800名国际学生。“我已经为大二做好了一切准备,”他说。

Then on Monday, he read in a group chat about the new guidelines. “I realized that I might be deported back to my home country,” he said. “It was so absurd, so insane.”


Although higher education officials saw the move by the Trump administration as an attempt to force their hands on reopening, which President Trump has pushed for, the directive also holds appeal to groups that favor reducing legal immigration to the United States.


Those advocates have pressed the administration to tighten the program that issues student visas and work permits, claiming it provides an avenue for immigrants to stay in the county after graduation and compete for American jobs.


Rosemary Jenks, the director of government relations for NumbersUSA, a group that lobbies for fewer immigrants in the United States, said that by forcing international students to leave the country, the new rule could help close a pipeline of students who obtain authorization to temporarily work in the United States for 12 months after graduation.

倡议美国减少移民的团体NumbersUSA的政府关系负责人罗斯玛丽·詹克斯(Rosemary Jenks)说,通过强迫国际学生离开美国,新规定可以帮助关闭学生在美毕业后的12个月获得临时工作许可的渠道。

But Ms. Jenks said she did not see the policy announced on Monday as an “earth-shattering new position,” but one that clarified existing law.


“It could have the effect of reducing the number of foreign students,” Ms. Jenks said. “There’s a lot that’s still up in the air.”


The United States has long attracted a bevy of international students, and in recent years they have become a key source of funding for both private and state colleges and universities, as many have struggled with reduced U.S. enrollment and state funding.


At some universities, international students account for a third of the undergraduate student body, and they represent the majority of students in many graduate programs. More than a million international students were issued visas to study in the United States last year.


In March, as the coronavirus outbreak forced universities to abruptly close their campuses, the Trump administration offered those students flexibility, allowing them to remain legally in the United States, said Dan Berger, a lawyer who specializes in academic immigration.

专门从事学术移民的律师丹·伯格(Dan Berger)说,3月,由于新冠病毒的暴发迫使大学突然关闭校园,特朗普政府为这些学生提供了灵活的政策,使他们能够合法地留在美国。

“All that flexibility is being pulled back now,” he said. If students attending universities with online classes wish to remain in the country, they will have to transfer to an institution that offers in-person courses, which is virtually impossible given the short notice.


New York University has one of the highest enrollments of international students in the country, with nearly 20,000 last academic year. Its president, Andrew Hamilton, said he believed the school’s hybrid program would allow most of its foreign students to attend at least one in-person class.

纽约大学是美国国际学生入学率最高的大学之一,上一学年留学生近2万。该校校长安德鲁·汉密尔顿(Andrew Hamilton)说,他相信学校的混合课程将使大多数外国学生能至少有一门课能够当面出勤。

But he criticized the administration for adding to the uncertainty for students and universities during the pandemic, calling the policy “just plain wrong and needlessly rigid” in a statement. “If there were a moment for flexibility in delivering education, this would be it,” he added.


At the University of Arizona, where nearly 4,000 international students were enrolled last academic year, Brent White, the vice provost for global affairs, said the school would ensure that such students are all able to take in-person classes and remain in the United States.

亚利桑那大学上学年招收了近4000名国际学生,该校负责全球事务的副教务长布伦特·怀特(Brent White)表示,该校将确保这些学生都能够当面出勤并留在美国。

“Even if the circumstances due to Covid-19 are that most people have to be online,” he said, “we have enough space that we think we can accommodate requirements that international students have in-person participation.”


Deepasha Debnath, 22, was born in India but has lived in the United States for all but eight years of her life. Originally, she was a dependent of her parents, who are in the country on work visas. But a year ago, she had to obtain a student visa to remain.

迪帕莎·德布纳特(Deepasha Debnath)今年22岁,出生于印度,但一生只有八年生活在美国之外。一开始,她以父母的受养人身份生活在美国,她的父母有美国的工作签证。但是一年前,她必须获得学生签证才能继续留下。

She is now in her last semester at San Francisco State University, where she is completing a bachelor’s degree in visual communication design. But her department has switched to all online classes for the fall semester.


The new guidance means that she would have to return to her country of birth, which she left when she was a little girl, and leave her family behind.


“After 14 years of living in the United States, my native country is foreign to me,” she said.