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Psi Chi Statement on ICE Rule Targeting International Students

Psi Chi Statement on ICE Rule Targeting International Students

July 2020

Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, joins many professional organizations and institutions of higher education in denouncing the proposed deportation of international students if their university courses are not held in person (due to the recently announced modifications to the temporary exemptions to the federal rule regarding international students who are studying in the USA on F-1 and M-1 visas). This rule places inequitable burdens and requirements on international students and institutions, while increasing public health risks. The additional risk to the mental and physical health of international students is unwarranted, particularly because it sacrifices student safety and the independence of university decision-making for the Department of Homeland Security’s goal of using this policy to “encourage schools to reopen.”1

International students provide a diversity of thought and experience that enriches our education systems and our communities. The contributions of international students are social, cultural, linguistic, and economic; such contributions are not easily replaced or spared. Preparing a future workforce that is competitive in a global economy requires individuals to work across cultural contexts. International students bring diverse cultural contexts to U.S. universities, facilitating broad growth opportunities for both students and faculty.

Interrupting international students’ education with restrictive policies is short-sighted and harmful. We are concerned that these policies also affect the U.S.’s standing in the global academic community, which may lead to further unfortunate restrictions on the international exchange of scholarship and education. We call on the federal government to extend existing provisions that allow international students to continue their educations in US-based institutions regardless of instructional modality during the COVID pandemic.

Deborah Harris O’Brien, PhD
President of the Psi Chi Board of Directors

Regan A. R. Gurung, PhD
Past-President of the Psi Chi Board of Directors

Ngoc Bui, PhD
President-Elect of the Psi Chi Board of Directors

Brien Ashdown, PhD
Psi Chi International Director

Martha S. Zlokovich, PhD
Psi Chi Executive Director

Melanie M. Domenech Rodriguez, PhD
Recent Past-President of the Psi Chi Board of Directors

Marianne Fallon, PhD
Psi Chi Eastern Region Vice-President

Lindsey Root Luna, PhD
Midwestern Vice-President on the Psi Chi Board of Directors

Leslie Cramblet Alvarez, PhD
Rocky Mountain Vice-President on the Psi Chi Board of Directors

Darren Bernal, PhD
Southeastern Vice-President on the Psi Chi Board of Directors

Lisa Rosen, PhD
Southwestern Vice-President on the Psi Chi Board of Directors

Jill Yamashita, PhD
Western Vice-President on the Psi Chi Board of Directors



1 Ken Cuccinelli, a top official at the Department of Homeland Security



Psi Chi Central Office
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Association of College Honor Societies