USA ICE New Rule (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) regarding non-immigrant (international) students, which was announced last Monday (Jul 06, 2020), caused a lot of problems and chaos for the educational industry in the United States, especially the academic field. Non-immigrant students, especially the academic (F1), were the concern and focus of this rule. For clarification, non-immigrant students are international students who get student visas to enter the U.S. for the purpose of studying only and thus return to their home towns after completion of their studies. They have two categories, (F1) for academic students and (M1) for vocational students. In this new ICE rule, these non-immigrant students won’t be able to stay in the United States or get student visa for entry, as long as they take their education purely online. In fact, last two semesters (Spring & Summer, 2019/2020), the U.S. ICE issued exemptions for all these students to continue their studies purely online while maintaining their active student status in the SEVIS (Student Exchange Visitor Information System) of the SEVP (Student Exchange Visitor Program). These exemptions were issued due to the sudden and unstable status of COVID-19 (Non-immigrant Students and SEVP-Certified Schools), which caused lock down and closure for educational campuses. However, when many U.S. colleges stated 1st of June (last month) as the decision’s day to reopen for the next fall (2019/2020), the ICE decided to modify their exemptions and revert to their actual rules and regulations that prevent non-immigrant students from taking pure online education. This was understood and thought of as deporting non-immigrant or international foreign students by the ICE. This new rule and its reactions can be highlighted using a behavioral approach for both the ICE and the American educational industry (colleges & students). Thus, this session discusses (Individual Behavior), the 2nd part in the 4th Book (Organizations – Behavior, Structure & Processes 2012) in your Channel (Management with Merits – Manage to Prosper). It comes to you within the 1st Year Program of the service of Global English Management & Leadership Books. We have introduced this book before and finished part 1 (Introduction) of it last session. You can access all our sessions of this book from here. This 2nd part contains 4 chapters, as per the picture below the video. Motivation, a topic that we’ve taken before in the channel in the 1st book (Management 2015), is the focus of 2 chapters (5 & 6) in this part. To download the associated presentation (PDF) and access our related sessions, kindly go to the video at our YouTube Channel and click on the appropriate link in the description section below the video.
The Reason of USA ICE New Rule
To be accurate, it was not a new rule. It was a modification of the previous exemptions from the actual ICE rules with respect to non-immigrant students & online education, as per the below screenshot (1st picture). The USA ICE is an agency of the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The mission statement of this entity is to safeguard the American people, their homeland (the United States) and their values of integrity, vigilance and respect (2nd below picture). Therefore, as far as I’m concerned, they believe that restricting or limiting the amount of online education for non-immigrant students helps the American authorities to maintain a close eye on them and stay vigilant with respect to their activity and their educational progress, given that they must be present in college/universities’ campuses to take in person education. Thus, the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) states that non-immigrant students (Category F – Academic) enrolled in academic programs in the United States are allowed maximum 3 credit hours or one class per term/semester as pure online, as shown in the 3rd picture below “8 CFR 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G)”. Despite these rules & regulations, the problems caused by COVID-19 led the ICE and DHS to behave promptly and responsibly, guided by their mission of protecting their homeland and values. Thus, they issued temporary exemptions from these rules for the last spring & summer semesters. When these conditions changed, with American colleges taking actions to reopen from next fall semester, the DHS / ICE amended their exemptions in their latest announcement or statement. Still in this new rule, or modified exemptions, the ICE continued to exempt non-immigrant students enrolled in hybrid educational schemes from the restriction of maximum limit of online education credit hours/classes, provided that they do also take in-person education (4th picture below).
The U.S. Educational Industry (Colleges & Students):
USA ICE new rule or modified exemptions caused troubles to the educational industry there. When colleges and universities declared 1st of June (last month) as the decision’s day to reopen, the situation was ambiguous. Colleges were not sure whether to completely reopen their campuses. Besides, they were uncertain with respect to the students’ situation and acceptance of reopening. Therefore, they assumed that the ICE temporary exemptions of online education would continue, and consequently announced the availability of pure online education for all students, including non-immigrants, for the coming fall semesters. Currently, colleges have to make careful and tough trade-offs between opening their campuses to all non-immigrant students which might cause health risks, or continuing with pure online education which might cost them losing non-immigrant students who provide huge sources of income for them.
On the other side, non-immigrant students found themselves in miserable condition. First, current students who have valid visa and active student status and studied purely online in the previous spring and summer semesters can’t continue doing so for the next fall. They either have to change to another institution which provides in-person education or leave the country. Also, the ones who left the country during the previous spring and summer semesters and continued their studies online from their home countries remotely can’t come back to the U.S. if they intend to continue their studies purely online. On the other hand, new students who wish to enter the U.S. won’t be able to obtain non-immigrant student visas or enter the country if they registered in pure online education system. In summary, similar to American universities and colleges, non-immigrant students suddenly found themselves forced to take difficult choices and make careful and tough trade-offs.
USA ICE New Rule – A Type of Stress
USA ICE new rule is considered a type of stress for the American educational industry. Actually, the root stress cause was COVID-19 because it disturbed the whole world, including the educational industry. Thus, we can expand our normal conception of stress as simply the anxiety or fatigue caused by problems or instability in the personal and employment or business levels to refer to the relationship between stress causes (stressors) and stress outcomes, moderated by various individual differences (below picture). The model is obtained from our book (Organizations – Behavior, Structure & Processes 2012).
Individual Behavior & Stress
Every individual is unique and completely different from others because of various forces and factors, which cause differences in behavior as well. Some of the factors and forces for such differences are shown in the below picture. These differences, as per the stress model above, moderate and decide how we deal with and combat stress. The same concept can also apply to organizations & official authorities. Online education in general is a great relief from the stress caused by the closure due to COVID-19. That’s why it was an acceptable method in the U.S. for such purpose. However, reopening steps and decisions caused new stress in the form of the USA ICE new rule. Therefore, this new stress needs to be dealt with efficiently by the educational industry in the U.S. One of the important preliminary steps, from my personal point of view, to deal with and combat this stress is to analyze it and its parties (ICE & the U.S. Educational Industry) using a behavioral approach.
USA ICE New Rule & The Big Five Model of Personality Traits:
Our behavior approach in analyzing the stress of the USA ICE new rule will be based on the Big Five Model of Personality Traits. To describe, analyze and evaluate behavior, many model or methods are available in the literature. However, one of the most agreeable and famous models is the Big Five Model of Personality Traits (below shape). It gives five dimensions to be used to analyze and evaluate behavior & personality traits. From a personal point of view, I believe that U.S. ICE & DHS have behaved professionally as per their mission since the start of COVID-19 spread. Throughout their exemptions and announcements, they have clearly stated that these modifications are temporary and subject to change at any time due to the unstable nature of COVID-19. On the other hand, the U.S. educational industry (colleges & students) had behavioral problems that caused this current chaos. Despite their efficiency & success in dealing with the online exemptions, they were not vigilant and aware enough that such conditions were only temporary. They became complacent that such status would continue for the next fall semester. Therefore, they found themselves in stressful condition now because they lacked full readiness with respect to reverting to the actual rules and conditions of online education for non-immigrant students. In general, online education is not the optimal scheme for non-immigrant international students, who need in-person education in order to enhance their social learning and relationships with foreign community and culture at which they study. In addition, both colleges and students should be open to any new experience that ensures safety, prosperity & growth, as they did with the online education exemptions. Reopening denotes being open to the new & old experience simultaneously of reverting to the actual status & condition of online education for non-immigrants. The successful experience with the exemptions of online education should have acted as emotional motivators for the U.S. educational industry to overcome and proceed further with the USA ICE new rule and modified exemptions. As a result of the above, I personally conclude that the U.S. educational industry has not behaved positively with respect to the five dimensions of the Big Five Model, namely conscientiousness, introversion/extroversion, agreeableness, emotional stability and openness to experience.
That was our session for today guys. Thank you so much for staying with us. Definitely, we hope that the U.S. educational industry successfully passes this new stressful to ensure smooth progress. We also hope that all non-immigrant students in the U.S. continue their studies towards the successful completion of their full course of studies.
Next session, we will move to part 3 of the book (Group Behavior & Interpersonal Influence in Organizations). Please support the channel strongly so we can continue our glorious mission. Our production is every Thursday. Please subscribe to the channel at YouTube and activate the notifications bell there. Please stay with us, follow us, participate with us, and widely share the channel and all our electronic contact platforms.