(DALLAS) — The White House yesterday rescinded guidance issued last week impacting the fall enrollment of certain international students. As a result of the change in course, international students with F-1 and M-1 visas will now be allowed to continue taking classes with Dallas College and other colleges operating largely online as a result of the pandemic. These students will no longer need to worry about transferring to a different school or possibly leaving the country to continue their studies. The following statement in support of the rule reversal, and in support or our international students who could have been affected, was issued to the entire Dallas College community:
To our Dallas College students and employees:
As you may have learned through media reports yesterday, the White House says it will no longer require international students to attend in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic this fall in order to remain in the United States.
Tuesday’s decision reverses an announcement made by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on July 6, which held that visas would no longer be issued to international students enrolled in schools whose programs are online for the fall semester. The earlier move, which has now been undone, further required some international students on F-1 and M-1 visas to either transfer to a school that would provide in-person instruction or leave the country.
The reversal of a mandate that originally put the status of our international students in question — and led to impassioned pleas for help from them — is a welcome development. As you may know, our international student population is significant, with approximately 2,600 students who would have been hurt by this ruling. The idea that some of them would have to abruptly transfer or leave the country when their home situations might lack the support to connect to U.S. colleges and universities online was untenable. Additionally, many of the room-and-board schools that have chosen to pursue in-person arrangements this fall may have been financially out of reach for many of these students.
As a result of the new guidance, those students will no longer be forced to comply with a rule that would have placed an undue burden on them. We are grateful to our leadership and campus community who quickly mobilized to address this issue. At Dallas College, our overarching concern is, and always will be, our students. Our commitment to them will never waver.
Dr. Joe May