The highly restrictive ICE memo that circulated on July 6th has been rescinded, but the University has been slow to put plans in place to fully support international students. The situation is better for continuing students who were enrolled and working before the pandemic, but yet there are still challenges created by university policies that make things more difficult for these international students. Having a work assignment is incredibly valuable for graduate students; to study in the US you need to show you have the ability to pay for school. For most foreign grad students, this means having a stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance and other benefits we in GEO have fought to secure for our members. We are fighting to ensure as many students as possible get their promised appointments and can add much needed diversity to our campus community.
Right now, the university’s plan largely ignores new international graduate students who are not in the United States. Some programs are trying to get these people a scholarship, but the University is using a GEO allocation and pocketing the salary savings. The university should not be trying to profit from some of our most vulnerable members. We in GEO continue to fight for social equity and justice for all members of our campus community, whether in Boston or abroad.