AAS Statement on Modifications to Student and Exchange Visitor Program Rules

AAS Board of Directors
July 10, 2020

The Association for Asian Studies (AAS) opposes the unnecessary decision by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to modify the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) rules. This decision affects over 1 million international students on F-1 and M-1 visas. Not only does the new guidance from ICE unjustifiably penalize international students who have no say in whether courses are online or in-person in the upcoming academic year, it also creates new problems for universities and colleges already struggling with the need to balance health and safety concerns with best pedagogical outcomes. The decision appears to be a political calculation to force schools to return to traditional face-to-face instruction in the fall. AAS stands with all American institutions of higher learning in this time of great uncertainty. We call on ICE to withdraw the decision to end temporary visa exemptions for international students and to allow schools to make their own decisions regarding the best solutions for their students, staff, and faculty.