International students at USC may get help to stay in the country

When ICE officials announced that International Students on Visas could be deported if they took only online classes, foreign students across the country were in shock.

Educational institutions are leaning to mostly online classes, to protect students and staff from COVID-19 infection, and some, like Harvard, had announced Fall curriculums with virtually no in-person teaching.

“I am getting dozens of emails of terrified students,” says USC  professor  Morteza Deghani, who is leading a group of colleagues at the university saying they will volunteer to hold in-person classes, to protect students from being deported.

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“With the weather in Southern California, we could hold sessions outside, while wearing masks and keeping a safe distance”, he adds, explaining that they are considering one class shared by educators taking a week, a piece.

USC officials say they are aware of the offer and looking at options. They are also waiting to see the process of a lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT to stop the Federal order.

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With as many as 12 thousand foreign students at USC alone, generally paying full tuition, USC is only one of many area Universities that depend on foreign student money to, in essence, subsidize lower payments for domestic students.

Deghani says, “ He wishes they could consider this for every students, but we are willing to put our lives at risk, to help this particular group, because theirs is a crisis situation, we are not even sure if we’d get paid, we are volunteering. Something has to be done.”