College of Idaho reacts to a federal ruling that could deport international students this fall

Posted at 12:54 PM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-10 09:15:41-04

CALDWELL, Idaho — International students in the United States on F-1 or M-1 visas are at risk of deportation from the states following Monday’s federal ruling.

Last night, we shared Boise State’s response and now we’re continuing our coverage with insights from both the College of Idaho and one of its international students.

Joe Hughes, a representative for the College of Idaho, tells Idaho News 6, “this affects a lot of our student body and the richness in the culture of our student body.” International students from 90 different countries make up 17% of the student body.

Coronavirus concerns are at the root of this ruling. However, as concerns continue, the College of Idaho is also expressing its concerns.

Hughes says, “with COVID, there’s still a lot of questions out there, and so that ambiguity is very difficult.”

For the Caldwell campus, the ambiguity lies in the outline. The ruling is clear for online and in-person courses. But for those moving forward with a hybrid curriculum, there’s a gray area of concern.

Hughes adds that regardless of the curriculum, “having to send a student home to their home country doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to continue their education.

Venezuelan native and College of Idaho student, Christian Garcia, is one of many students at C of I having to face this new reality. Garcia tells Idaho News 6 that there is a problem with water, electricity, and the internet ”in his home country: they cut out the power six to eight hours a day when it comes there’s no Internet there is no water.”

The global pandemic has also affected his family’s income. His father is retired military, and his mother, a former lawyer, is now selling eggs and cheese in front of their house to make ends meet. Garcia worries that going back home means going back to work and not back to school, “you know one more mouth to feed And all that you’re setting up students to fail.”

The College of Idaho says they’re offering support to any students affected by this ruling and have since reached out to their Congressional representative.