Solidarity with International Students - Statement from DA Germany Student Outreach Team & Youth Caucus

As members of the DA Germany Student Outreach Team and Youth Caucus, we stand in solidarity with international students pursuing their education at U.S. institutions and call for the immediate retraction of the proposed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies that unjustly target them.

On July 6, 2020, ICE released a statement that announced holders of certain student visas (F-1 and M-1) would be denied entry, extensions or targeted for deportation if they were not enrolled in in-person courses. The changes limit the amount of online credit hours students can take, at a time when more universities are switching to full-time online teaching in face of the CoVid-19 pandemic. This is a direct attack on the physical and mental well-being of students and local communities.

At a moment when the political and social demands of Black, Indigenous and people of color are being elevated and fought for in the streets, we understand that the proposed changes disproportionally affect international students from lower economic backgrounds or global spaces with limited technology, making online courses increasingly difficult. It similarly denies students who left the USA at the beginning of the pandemic an opportunity to return to the lives they have built. We find this unacceptable and in-line with other condemnable ICE policies that target migrant communities throughout the United States.

From our own experiences studying abroad in Germany (and various other places), we know that the denial of a visa does not only mean refused access to education but it also means the upheaval of personal lives and connections that are built every day, for some it may even mean a loss of livelihood. International students are a crucial part of the lives of universities and colleges not only in the US but worldwide, and they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. We appreciate initiatives at the state-level aimed at protecting students and stopping the regulations from being implemented.

We therefore stand in solidarity with all international students in the United States and globally.

Links to support:

http://www.change.org/p/immigration-and-customs-enforcement-stop-sevp-from-blocking-international-students-from-their-colleges-and-universities

http://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/allow-international-students-finish-their-degrees