“IU is fucking gutless,” said my friend Huixin, an international Ph.D. student at IU. Or, quoting another friend’s more gentle comment, “We are disappointed at IU’s lack of reaction towards the new ICE guidelines.” She is referring to statements from IU which did not include condemnations of the policy and is expressing that it expects international students to conform to it.
This new policy is the latest one adding to the streak of anti-immigration policies in the early half of 2020 by the Trump administration. Starting from mid-March, there have been attacks against Asians, entry bans for foreign workers, threats to revoke visas for some Chinese students, suspension of issuing H1-B visas and more.
International students like us have lived constantly under the fear of being unable to finish our studies, being unable to find a job, being attacked by white supremacists and now being deported even before any of these happens.
International students pay tuition to contribute to IU’s revenue. We run IU’s classes and labs. We graduate to join the U.S.’s high-tech job force, to build start-ups and contribute to the nation’s economy. This seems to be the default path when I came to IU six years ago, but not anymore.
With so much uncertainty posed by the recent policies, new students will reconsider coming to study in the U.S., and new graduates will reconsider staying to work in the U.S. — a place where we can be kicked out at any time.
As a group that is most vulnerable to the anti-immigrant trends during the current situation, we now need IU’s action more than ever. We call for the university to step up for its students, and stand with them during this crisis.
Elise Jing, IU graduate student in Informatics