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On UTA administration’s inaction to ICE and the international student deportation

By Rick Majumdar

Arlington, TX – As an international student, I am frankly disillusioned at the silence of the University of Texas Arlington (UTA) administration as they failed to address the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) plan for the deportation of international students if they enroll in an online classes in the upcoming fall semester. As of yet no email has arrived from the acting provost's office to either calm international students or provide them with any sort of protections to assure their safety against these federal mandates.

There are 4887 international students at UTA presently out of a total of 46,497 students, which accounts for nearly 10.5% in its entirety, a significant percentage but which has dropped progressively from 2016 (4988), a statistic that shouldn't baffle anyone and points directly towards the xenophobia of the Trump administration. International students and international faculty form significant percentages in every department at UTA, conducting valuable research that not only earns UTA millions and millions monetarily but also brings UTA immense reputation value, not only in the USA but across the world as well.

I am a Masters of Aerospace Engineering student at UTA. Imagine if the astronaut and engineer Kalpana Chawla was my classmate, and because of ICE's plans, we were forced to leave UTA and be deported back to our home countries. We would not be able achieve our respective dreams and careers. UTA prides itself on Kalpana Chawla being a graduate from this institution and has rightly dedicated a residence hall and memorial in her name. Kalpana Chawla, an international student, an inspiration to many like me who died not only as an American hero but as international one as well. This is the value that international students have, and we deserve better from UTA.

UTA must not cooperate with ICE and must avoid diplomatic answers with regards to cooperation with ICE According to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines, without proper warrants signed off by judges, agents cannot get information regarding students. UTA at this present moment must provide adequate protections and not provide personal details to ICE agents or allow them on campus. Additionally, UTA must increase the number of hybrid classes to ensure not a single student is deported.

The Trump administration's failure of illegally repealing DACA has caused this morally bankrupt and racist government to turn its eyes to the legal non-immigrant international students in the U.S. to deport them back home. UTA as an institution must stand firm against this xenophobia.

#ArlingtonTX #ImmigrantRights #OppressedNationalities #ICE #US #PeoplesStruggles #Antiracism #DonaldTrump #UniversityOfTexasArlington #internationalStudents