J’can students fear for future after ICE declaration

July 10, 2020
Tahj- jai Sharpe
Tahj- jai Sharpe
Sade Martin
Sade Martin

Tahj-jai Sharpe, a Jamaican at the Howard University in Washington DC, in the US, had made plans to advance into post-grad school, but he is now worried about his future.

This, after news surfaced that all international students are required to leave the US and return home if their classes move to an online platform.

"There's not much to go back home to at this point until I can successfully finish my higher-learning education here," he told THE WEEKEND STAR.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced on Monday that all international students pursuing degrees in the US will have to leave the country or risk deportation if their universities switch to online-only courses.


He believes the move by ICE will hinder the progression of international students and development within the country.

"It will disproportionately affect university students who are international where majority of these schools have international students who are the higher impact for the school grades," he said.

According to ICE, "International students on non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 visas attending schools operating entirely online should not take a full online course load and stay in the United States."

ICE said it will not issue visas to students enrolled in programmes that are solely online for the fall semester, nor will the US customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the US.

Sharpe, who was hoping to get a PhD in neurosurgery, said he had already applied to the programme, but now he has no choice but to move back home if things don't work in his favour.

"I will have to follow the guidelines and just do what they ask of us, but I feel it's pretty inhumane in general," Sharpe told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Another international student Sade Martin, who is currently in her final year of nursing school at Howard, says her fate is uncertain at this point.

"I'm in a state of uncertainty because transferring to another university is not an option for me. I am in my final year at and I plan to see it through," Martin said. "I'm staying in prayer and faith."

She added, "Going back home would be a disappointment in the fact that I left to successfully further my education and cement a place of financial stability and residence in a place that offers more opportunity than Jamaica."


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