International students won’t face threat of deportation

Author: Stephen Percy

Posted: July 14, 2020

Dear students, faculty and staff,

I speak for our PSU community in celebrating the decision announced earlier today by the federal government to abandon a proposal that would have stripped U.S. visas from our international students who are doing their coursework entirely online. 

Our international students are essential not only to our academic and research mission but also to the cultural richness of our campus and the greater Portland community.    

PSU educates about 1,200 students during the academic year who come from scores of nations across the world. More than 1 million international students study at U.S. universities, and the COVID pandemic has shifted instruction to online learning formats to curb the spread of the virus. 

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on July 6 announced that international students must take at least one in-person course this fall or lose their student visas and face deportation. That draconian action prompted lawsuits from schools across the country, and today the government agreed to reinstate the previous policy that allows international students to take online classes and remain legally in the United States. 

We have been working with our congressional delegation and other universities on behalf of our international students to reverse the original proposal, and it is gratifying to see that an agreement has been reached so quickly to support our students as we look to the start of the fall term in September. 

Stephen Percy
Portland State University