By Peter Cherry
This week, Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) threatened to bar entry to or deport millions of international students studying in the US if their university does not offer in-person classes this fall.
This announcement is part of a broader effort by the imperialist Donald Trump to use the pretext of coronavirus to further restrict immigration and increase deportations.
This effort not only holds international students hostage, but also puts university workers and faculty, who are already facing furloughs and pay freezes, at increased risk of contracting the virus from the US colleges that are financially compelled to remain open for in-person classes.
Many college administrations in the US rely on international student tuition as government funding for higher education continues to decrease. Responses from US colleges and universities have ranged from issuing soft statements voicing disagreements with the new standards to lawsuits in the case of MIT and Harvard, however these actions are not take out of concern for students’ wellbeing or principled disagreement with the state’s immigration policy, but rather because this denies them revenue and ultimately hurts their bottom line.