New ICE Directive Targets International Students

Yesterday Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a directive targeting International Students in the country on F-1 and M-1 visas.  The directive states that students currently enrolled in universities that moved to online courses in the fall must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction. Universities across the country are being forced to shift to online courses as a result of the on-going COVID pandemic.

The complete directive can be read here.

The directive will have an adverse impact on thousands of students in the U.S. from Arab countries. ADC Legal Director Abed Ayoub explains, “This is another example of the Trump administration using the COVID pandemic as a mechanism to attack legal immigration in the U.S., and continuing the targeting of immigrant communities. This is an unnecessary directive which offers no public benefit to the U.S., and actually hinders the quality of education students will receive by posing serious logistical challenges.”

The decision by ICE is a reversal of an earlier decision taken by the agency at the onset of the pandemic. ADC is exploring possible legal avenues to address this new directive. If you are a student who is impacted or know of a student who is impacted, please submit your information by clicking here.

ADC will continue to address this matter and will update the community regularly. If you have any questions please email Again, if you are a student who is impacted please complete our intake form.

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