Faculty, students speak with media about new ICE rules

News Center Maine and the Bangor Daily News interviewed faculty and international students from the University of Maine about new regulations from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). “I need to focus on staying in the country first, and then think about my health, because I don’t know my chances of getting COVID-19, but there’s a 100 percent chance that if I don’t rejoin the campus, I will be sent out of the country,” said Raj Anupam, a UMaine graduate student studying to become a physics teacher, to BDN. New rules from ICE require international students to take in-person classes in the fall 2020 semester in order to stay in the country and prevent their visas from becoming invalidated. “So that uncertainty you can imagine is not a comfortable way to live, or to focus on your studies and what you are learning because the worry of is it today, is it tomorrow that I have to have all my things in a suitcase ready to depart the country?” said Faye Gilbert, interim executive vice president of academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, to News Center. UMaine, however, satisfies ICE’s requirements by offering in-person instruction and hybrid teaching, a mixture of in-person and online teaching. “We will be switching to a remote instruction on November 25th, but because it’s part of our hybrid instructional model for the fall semester, our students can remain in the country and complete their semester,” said Orlina Boteva, director of International Programs at UMaine, to News Center. Maine Public shared the BDN report.