AMSTERDAM — Congressman Paul D. Tonko is joining several efforts in the House to pressure the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw the recently announced ICE policy that would strip visas from international students who take only online courses at U.S. colleges and universities this coming academic year.
“Our international students are integral to our nation’s colleges and universities. This push by ICE to deport students in the middle of their education makes no sense and serves no legitimate purpose. If their real intent here is to force schools to go back to in-person instruction before it’s safe or reasonable to do so, they are trading away the health and safety of every student and faculty member in the process,” Congressman Tonko said in a statement. “I urge ICE to reverse these visa changes now before it is allowed to harm the people we are sworn to serve.”
Tonko has added his name to several letters from Members of Congress calling for ICE to reverse its visa revocation plan, including: House letter led by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Mark Pocan (D-WI) with 109 members, House letter led by Rep. Jimmy Panetta (CA-20) with 136 members and Bicameral letter led by Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA.), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA.), Joe Neguse (D-CO), Katherine Clark (D-MA), and Seth Moulton (D-MA), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) with 99 members.