Foreign Student Deportation

The Minnesota Psychological Association joins The American Psychological Association, institutions of higher education, and community organizations in opposing the deportation of foreign students as mandated by ICE. The COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading at record levels, forcing colleges and universities to resort to full-online or hybrid instruction. ICE insists only full-time on-site education meets foreign students visa requirements.

There are hundreds of thousands of foreign students in the United States who bring cultural and educational enrichment, international engagement, and financial contributions to learning institutions and the U.S. economy. There is mutual benefit to having a diverse international student body. Educated foreign students have made significant contributions to the arts and sciences, psychology, medical care, research, business, technology, and sports. 

Through no fault of their own, foreign students now have to make a choice that can cause them irreparable harm. They must either expose themselves to COVID-19 while uprooting their lives and transferring to an on-site college somewhere. Attempt to return home to a country where there may not be flights from the U.S. and get stuck at an airport somewhere. Get detained by ICE. Or tragically, return to a country where they are unsafe due to civil unrest. As a result, many displaced foreign students will not continue their education.

This mandate is not just wrong, but immoral, and does not contribute to the benefit of anyone. If we stay silent and allow this to happen, then we are also complicit in this atrocity. I encourage all psychologists to take action by calling their congressional representatives, protest this action, and speak out about this tragedy about to happen.

Click here to learn how you can help.

Willie Garrett, Ed.D.
President, MPA