Special Report

Shutdown: The Coronavirus

ICE takes aim at international students

Many, but not all fall classes at NYU will be in-person or hybrid. If international students have only online classes they will have to leave the country thanks to a new ICE policy.

It’s getting harder to be an international student in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic.

ICE is now threatening to deport any international student who will have only online classes next semester. The news came on July 6, as the coronavirus numbers in the states continued to soar. Many international students who hold  F-1 and M-1 visas will not be able to return to their campuses. The measure would entail high costs for these students who already contribute nearly $41 billion to the U.S. economy. 

“I think it’s cruel. I can’t even see a benefit to it. We contribute a lot to the economy. I worked really hard to be here, and to have that taken away overnight is absolutely cruel,” said Julia Sipowicz, an international student studying film at NYU Tisch. 

Since the onset of the pandemic students have realized how frail their status is in the country. At NYU, the largest private university in the country, with 19,600 international students, the pandemic has led to one crisis after another. They faced eviction from their dormitories in March because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now, they may face eviction from the country. 

NYU President Andy Hamilton assured students in an email that “ NYU’s leadership has been looking ahead and working on plans for a return to in-person, on-campus activity to be accompanied by an effective set of health and safety protocols.” 

Sipowicz is still uneasy despite Hamilton’s email. Her academic advisor assured her she was fine, because her program is hybrid. But she doesn’t trust the system.

 “I was one of the students who got kicked out of the dorms,” she said. “I’m very weary of what could happen in the future given how (NYU) didn’t think of the consequences. I need to look out for myself and not expect them to,” she said. 

Students who are enrolled in classes that are confirmed to be in person or hybrid are not entirely safe. If there is a resurgence later in the year, and their programs switch to online courses, they could be required to leave the U.S.

Zhuoru Deng, a second-year graduate international student at NYU Steinhardt, doesn’t know if she should transfer to the Shanghai campus. 

“There are risky choices on both sides. What if I stay in the U.S. and the course goes online in October/November,” she asked. “My advisor told me, ‘If you go back to China, you have to be prepared for the possibility of not being able to come back to the U.S.’”

Getting a ticket to Shanghai will not be easy. Flights are limited and costs can be as high as $10,000. Also, tickets need to be booked through an agent. Regular booking will not be available until November. 

“Some agents are frauds, and some of my friends have already lost money booking through them,” Deng said. 

Harvard and the Michigan Institute of Technology have sued the Trump administration in response to ICE’s announcement. Sipocwicz wishes NYU would do more, like reaching out directly to the government or immigration lawyers to find out how to help students. On July 7 Hamilton announced that NYU intends to file an amicus brief in support of the lawsuit.

But Sipocwicz wants the university to do more.

“NYU should do more to advocate for us,” she said. “I haven’t seen NYU do that. A statement from the president doesn’t make a difference.”

 


Tags


Other Stories in Special Report: Shutdown: The Coronavirus

The queer community rallies behind their sacred spaces closed because of COVID-19

Inga Parkel February 23, 2021

Keeping the faith in COVID-19

Courtney Guarino February 3, 2021

Little Italy’s restaurants need indoor dining to survive pandemic

Michelle Diaz February 2, 2021

Stray pets find homes and love during pandemic

Inga Parkel February 1, 2021

No Actors, But the Show Goes On

James Pothen December 5, 2020

New York City, a place of refuge 

Edith Rousselot December 4, 2020

Commuting in a pandemic world

Michelle Diaz December 3, 2020

Battling food insecurities during a pandemic

Courtney Guarino December 3, 2020

Adaptation

Justin McGown December 3, 2020

Honk!: Cars earn a special spot in 2020

Luana Harumi December 3, 2020

Working out looks very different during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang December 2, 2020

One kitchen’s transformation in the age of isolation

Isabel Beer December 2, 2020

Nursing homes are filled with sadness and loss during pandemic shut down

Inga Parkel December 1, 2020

The show goes on

Norah Hogan December 1, 2020

Loyal members help keep independent cinemas afloat

Courtney Guarino December 1, 2020

Musicians deal with the reality of no live shows as covid takes center stage

Paola Michelle Ortiz December 1, 2020

 Black Friday’s Aftermath

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi November 30, 2020

The Spirit of Little Haiti

Savannah Daniels October 14, 2020

Small business owners hope for future relief

Courtney Guarino October 2, 2020

Brooklyn Book Festival held virtually

Chuyan Jiang September 28, 2020

NYC Restaurant owners worry about maintaining business during winter 

Isabel Beer September 27, 2020

The pandemic is causing mental health struggles for many Latinos

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 24, 2020

Politically divided family can agree on one thing, rallies are bad during a pandemic

Michelle Diaz September 23, 2020

New Yorkers are vulnerable to mental issues due to pandemic

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 23, 2020

Healthcare professionals struggle with Trump’s decisions during pandemic

Tori Luecking September 23, 2020

Some Americans Say “Not So Fast” on Operation Warp Speed

James Pothen September 23, 2020

Trump voters unfazed by morality of Trump’s Covid response

Norah Hogan September 22, 2020

Trump rallies continue, despite the rising Covid-19 death toll

Isabel Beer September 22, 2020

Latinos weigh in on President Trump’s management of the pandemic

Paola Michelle Ortiz September 21, 2020

Fast track vaccine causes fear

Kaity Assaf September 21, 2020

It’s business as usual at McSorley’s Old Ale House

Tori Luecking September 20, 2020

Trump defiance to hold indoor rallies amidst COVID-19 sparks polarized responses 

Courtney Guarino September 20, 2020

NYC Cafes and restaurants try and survive the pandemic

Isabel Beer September 19, 2020

A typical afternoon at Shade Bar NYC

Kaity Assaf September 19, 2020

West Village staple, Caffe Reggio, remains open for outdoor dining in the wake of coronavirus restrictions 

Norah Hogan September 19, 2020

Fort Greene’s Dino adds outdoor dining to keep business flowing

Courtney Guarino September 19, 2020

COVID-19 hampers Fashion Week for photographers

Daniel Karel September 18, 2020

On the heels of revelation that Trump downplayed the covid threat, voters question rallies resuming

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 16, 2020

Overburdened mothers in Pakistan are relieved as schools reopens

Quratulain Tejani September 13, 2020

Students from different parts of the world struggle as schools reopen during a pandemic

Chuyan Jiang September 12, 2020

Special needs students face learning obstacles during Covid-19

Courtney Guarino September 12, 2020

Back to school – COVID-19 style 

Isabel Beer September 12, 2020

The new normal for school life is abnormal in Michigan

Sughnen Yongo-Okochi September 11, 2020

California School District Parents and Teachers Clash About Return to School

Norah Hogan September 10, 2020

A tribute to the mask pioneers

Bohao Liu July 11, 2020

Air pollution in China rebounds to pre-COVID level

Hannah Zhang July 11, 2020

Chinese students trapped by new ICE policy

Zishu Sherry Qin July 10, 2020

New ICE policy adds more turmoil to the lives of international students

Shiyu Xu July 10, 2020

Lawsuits follow ICE policy barring international students who are taking online classes

Joanna Lin Su July 10, 2020

Economists say the US needs a bold, generous fiscal response. Congress is likely to disappoint. 

Ahmed Mohamed July 9, 2020