LONG BRANCH—Senator Vin Gopal released the following statement condemning the decision by the United States Immigrations and Customs agency to deport foreign students who are attending United States colleges that are operating entirely online this fall semester due to COVID-19 concerns:
“Let’s start with the most basic problem: This decision is absolutely illegal, and breaks all of the legal promises we’ve made to these students in the past,” said Gopal (D-Long Branch). “Every one of these students came to our country so that they could learn from the greatest system of higher education in the world. Not only do these students contribute to our economy and our body of research and innovation, they also support domestic students with their tuition, subsidizing the education of United States residents.
“At a time when our nation’s economy is in such a precarious position due to COVID-19, we can’t afford to damage one of America’s strongest exports: education. It’s no coincidence that this proclamation came out on the same day that major universities across the US announced their intent to hold fall classes entirely via remote learning. This decision by ICE is a purely political statement aimed at hurting universities who are doing their best to keep their students safe. It’s a cruel, capricious, and counterproductive order, and must be immediately withdrawn.”