Representative Adriano Espaillat Statement on Trump Policy Modification to Force International Students to Leave U.S. Institutions Amid Global Health Crisi

July 9, 2020
Press Release
Harmful Change to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program Uproots Foreign-Born Students During COVID-19 Pandemic

NEW YORK, NY - Today, Representative Adriano Espaillat (NY-13) released the following statement in response to the Trump administration's decision to bar international student visa holders from U.S. institutions of higher education. 

“The Trump Administration’s decision to bar international student visa holders from the United States whose institutions of higher education are conducting online-only courses the fall, in the midst of a deadly pandemic that requires social distancing to remain safe, is yet another unnecessary attack on our immigration system and a self-inflicted blow to America’s global leadership," said Rep. Adriano Espaillat. “Trump’s short-sighted policy is extremely harmful and devasting to students, our nation’s premier institutions of higher education and research, the American economy and the future competitiveness of our nation. The administration is not only exploiting the pandemic to expel individuals here lawfully; it is also attempting to perpetuate its mythical narrative that the crisis is over by forcing universities to reopen prematurely despite serious health and safety concerns.

“I urge all students who need clarity on their situation to contact their provosts, deans, advisors, and international student offices. I have been in touch with the colleges and universities in my district, who are all working to find a way forward and assist students adversely impacted by the administration’s decision. I encourage international students studying in New York’s 13th congressional district to reach out to my office if they need assistance in this process.

“The world’s best and brightest come to the United States to learn from some of the best institutions of higher education in the world, and the mutual benefit is shared by our country and these students for the betterment of all. I will continue working with my colleagues to oppose the Trump Administration’s irrational decision and demand that this policy be rescinded immediately.”

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First elected to Congress in 2016, Rep. Adriano Espaillat is serving his second term in Congress where he serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and the House Small Business Committee.  He serves as a Senior Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and is a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) where he also serves in a leadership role as CHC Whip. He is also chairman of the CHC Task Force for Transportation, Infrastructure and Housing. Rep. Espaillat’s Congressional District includes Harlem, East Harlem, northern Manhattan and the north-west Bronx.  To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at