Unpaid loans, semester drop-out, not able to return to the campus, deportation, getting infected with COVID-19; these are all some of the fears of every Indian student studying in the United States currently.
The U.S. immigration authority has announced that the foreign students may have to leave the country or deport, if the universities, colleges or other educational institutes switch to online classes. This decision has been announced after witnessing the corona outbreak getting worse in the country.
During a virtual meeting, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, India’s Foreign Secretary, raised this issue in front of David Hale, US Under Secretary of States for Political Affairs.
This decision has sent a wave of panic among international students studying in the United States. Shobna Mukherjee, a student at Duke University, said- “This will be a big blow to students who came to the U.S. with long term plans. I stayed back in the country when the campuses shut in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. I did not want to travel, as well as different time zones would have made it miserable to attend online classes. But suddenly, my stay here is now legally invalid,” Source: Times of India.
Further, she added- “What happens to the semester, what happens to the education loan, what happens to the work I was doing here at the university to aid my tuition fees? And most importantly, if I am deported, will I ever be able to get back? There are no answers to these questions,” Source: Times of India.
This has made students afraid of sharing their real identity with anyone out there. A student at the University of Illinois in Chicago gave a statement without revealing the identity and said- “Nobody saw this coming. I was shocked to hear this, something which was not imagined in the wildest of our dreams. When one moves to a country, it is never a short plan; it has been thought through before. With this, the plan I had in mind for the next five years will also go for a toss. It is a situation where I don’t know what to fear about more — disease or deportation.” Source: Times of India.
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