Bellevue College is Outraged by the Federal Policy Change to International Students’ Visa Status

The recent news that International students are in jeopardy of being sent back to their home country is devastating to higher education. It has made this a frustrating week for Bellevue College and higher education institutions throughout Washington State and across the US.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced unfair, cruel and ludicrous rules that international students will not be allowed to stay in the U.S. if they attend institutions that are holding courses online this fall.

The sudden change in U.S. policy leaves international students with two choices. They would need to transfer to another institution that provides in-person or hybrid (both in-person and online) instruction if their college doesn’t offer the combination—or depart the country and risk not being able to return and complete their education. Those students who fail to comply face deportation.

This new and sudden policy, presented amid the global pandemic, is irresponsible, deeply troubling, and displays a lack of care for human life. The policies would have a devastating impact on our international students’ ability to complete their Bellevue College education, which will negatively impact all students.

“Bellevue College has a mission to educate and improve the lives of our community both locally and globally. International students make up a critical part of our student body, and their presence enriches the learning that takes place in and out of the classroom. We will do everything to defend the ability of our international students to remain at Bellevue College and in the United States.” Interim President Gary Locke said.

Bellevue College is a leading institution that values our international student’s contribution to our overall rigor, global perspective, customs, and courtesy. International students bring their views and experiences from their homelands to enrich Bellevue College education.

We stand with our international students because we are all in this together.

Last Updated July 9, 2020