Texas A&M migration researcher calls ICE decision on international students ‘foolish’

Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 6:28 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - One Texas A&M University professor who studies international migration is not mincing words when asked how he feels about a new ICE guideline that would require international students to take an in-person class or leave the U.S.

This comes at a time when many universities, including Texas A&M, are setting schedules of many online courses and some in-person offerings.

“I was really flabbergasted to read about this,” said Dudley Poston, a leading sociologist at Texas A&M. “It’s sort of in a sense a cruel policy. It’s trying to force the hand of universities to move away from online classes. I just don’t think it’s fair.”

Poston posits that the international students are a pawn in a political play: “I think it’s entirely based upon the fact of opening up the United States, and by having online classes students are not—some of them are not returning to college campuses.”

The economic impact, Poston says, should also be considered.

“In 2018… there were over a million international students in the US, and they combined about $45 billion dollars in money to our country,” said Poston.

Logistically speaking, furthermore, Poston sees an issue.

“Many of the European countries are not allowing people to enter from the U.S. so what would happen to these students?” said Poston. “I don’t know if ICE has handled, even thought of, that particular issue.”

Mostly, Poston says that these students are highly valuable to the culture and academia at Texas A&M.

I think what a lot of people forget is that it provides an important amount of diversity in our colleges; this builds social, economic, and cultural understanding between the countries,” Poston said. “These international students are among the very best students we have.”

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