ICE college student policy change cruel

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced a devastating policy change and abruptly yanked exemptions for international students to take online classes because of the COVID crisis. If a student is enrolled in a university that will be teaching online courses due to the pandemic, ICE now expects those students to take drastic measures “including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.” Any students whose university has decided to teach online – a choice made necessary due to the still-out-of-control pandemic – might be deported or detained. This announcement is not only cruel to international students but is bad for all colleges and for Maine’s economy.

International students are invaluable members of our community, and they bring an important perspective to courses. Our community and our courses are stronger because they have such diverse, international populations. This announcement, which will surely drive present and future international students away, will result in a weaker learning environment.

Colleges and universities are a vital part of Maine’s economy. International students shop at local stores, eat at local restaurants, and welcome their families to visit them. Chasing international students away from Maine will further hurt our economy.

But worst of all, this announcement is cruel. It punishes international students for studying in the US during a pandemic. It threatens them with detainment and deportation instead of letting them safely take online courses.

Please call Senators Collins and King and Representatives Golden and Pingree to tell them that no one will benefit from this cruelty.

Meghan Roberts,
Associate Professor of History,
Bowdoin College
In support of a carbon dividend

Anxiety is my overriding sensation these days, is it yours? My friends are also expressing anxiety about COVID, racism, the president using pepper spray and rubber bullets on American citizens, and the climate crisis.

It looks like America may toss the president out in November and also finally make real progress on racism. COVID may not go away until we get a vaccine or we have herd immunity but one way or the other this will eventually happen. This leaves us with the even greater overarching issue of the climate crisis.

We all can see the weather getting more intense and the scientists tell us we have 10 years at the most to make effective substantial changes. To tackle this problem  we need a carbon fee and dividend to allow our capitalist system to transform itself into one that does not depend on fossil fuels.  The economic experts say that a carbon fee and dividend bill such as HR763 Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend will stimulate our economy as it greatly decreases greenhouse gasses. If we do not act now, I cringe to imagine how anxious we will all be in about four years when the effects from global warming seriously hit us. Left unchecked climate change will damage Maine with the rising seas, disappearing fish in the Gulf of Maine, unclean air and huge storms. Call Sens. King and Collins and Reps. Pingree and Golden now and tell them you want them to act.

Nancy Hasenfus,
Brunswick

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