Donald Trump: We Shouldn’t Kick Out Foreign Students Who Attend Our Colleges (2015 Tweet)

There’s a tweet for everything, it’s said. Twitter users can usually dig up an old tweet from Donald Trump that contradicts or ironically clashes with something he or his administration are currently doing or saying. In this case, as the U.S. considers sending international students back to their home countries if their courses are moved to fully online, a tweet from Trump in 2015 resurfaced, that seems to contradict that plan.

Donald Trump once said not to remove foreign students
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]

A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement release this week said that foreign students taking courses in U.S. colleges may be forced to leave the country if their classes are moved online.

The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States. Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.

As this news made its way around, this tweet resurfaced.

The U.S., and the world, have reaped the benefits of foreign students and immigrants in U.S. colleges. The N95 mask which has seen such a surge in relevance during the pandemic, in fact, was invented by such an individual. Taiwanese-American scientist Peter Tsai was doing research at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, when he created the filtration technology that these masks use. As The Print recently noted, Tsai had retired last year, only to leave retirement again to help fight COVID-19 in the face of a protective equipment shortage.

Trump may not address his change in position, but it’s notable that the ICE guidelines do allow foreign students to remain in the U.S. if they transfer to a school that offers fully in-person classes. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump and education secretary Betsy DeVos, in separate talks, both pushed for public school systems across the nation to fully reopen with in-person classes.

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