MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – On Monday the U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) announced it would be deporting college students who do not take in person classes this coming academic year.

That announcement drew sharp criticism from students and university officials.

Tweet from K-State Junior Vedant Kulkarni

“I was genuinely shocked to see the new rule that they had implemented,” K-State student Vedant Kulkarni said. “The reason being that’s not something you expect all of a sudden to happen you know we are in the middle of a pandemic there are a lot of things going on.” 

Kulkarni is an international student at K-State originally from Nasik, India. He is currently unable to leave the United States due to the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a problem he said many students would run into if forced to leave.

The ruling itself came as a complete surprise to Kulkarni and other students and put fear into the hearts of many who are thousands of miles away from their families and some who have been in the U.S. for many years.

“The ruling was pretty weird to read, because according to the DHS website what I could read was if the university is going completely online then you have to leave the country or be deported,” Kulkarni said. “That is a tough situation to be in because there is a global lock down, flights are being restricted.”

Kansas State University was quick to issue a statement on Monday. University Provost Dr. Charles Taber said K-State has a plan to keep international students in Kansas.

Kansas State University is evaluating the new guidance concerning the status of international students at universities that move their instruction fully online. K-State is planning for a Fall 2020 semester that will provide face-to-face, hybrid, and online opportunities for students. We believe that our international students will be able to continue their education at K-State under our current plans.

Statement from K-State Provost Dr. Charles Taber

Harvard and M.I.T announced Tuesday they would be suing the administration responsible for the policy. As of Wednesday, K-State nor any other university in Kansas has announced plans to take legal action.