Multitudes of the over 1000 Zimbabwean students studying at universities in the United States of America are up for deportation after the US Government made a decision that foreign students at its institutions of higher learning that have adopted online learning should leave the country.
Statistics culled from Open Doors- a state-funded platform that tracks foreign students in that country- shows that Zimbabwe has around 1 343 students studying in the US.
The majority of varsities in the world’s economic powerhouse have since adopted off-campus teaching in light of the Covid19 pandemic and Zimbabwean students who do not transfer to tertiary institutions offering on-campus lectures could soon be forced back home.
The move was announced by the country’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office earlier this week.
“The US Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will the US Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States,” partly reads the statement.
“Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction, to remain in lawful status,” said the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Office.
The latest changes are poised to result in a reduction of foreign student population in the US.
This development has widely been criticised with Elizabeth Warren, a United States senator belonging to the Democratic Party describing the move as senseless, xenophobic, senseless and cruel.
“Kicking international students out of the US during a global pandemic because their colleges are moving classes online for physical distancing hurts students. It is senseless, cruel and xenophobic,” she tweeted.
On the other hand, two leading varsities in the US have already filed lawsuits challenging the legality of the impending deportations against the Donald Trump administration.
Additional Reporting: Zwnews