LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — International students may have to leave the U.S. if their universities switch to online-only courses during the coronavirus pandemic, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on Monday, or they could risk deportation.

The move comes as President Donald Trump continues to push for swift reopening measures.

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Trump tweeted on Monday, “Corrupt (former vice president) Joe Biden and the Democrats don’t want to open schools in the Fall for political reasons, not for health reasons! They think it will help them in November. Wrong, the people get it!”


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Under the rules, international students cannot have a full course load made up only of online classes, but amid coronavirus safer-at-home guidelines, some universities are opting to temporarily go fully or mostly remote to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The options for current international students, according to ICE are to “depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction.” If not, they could risk deportation.

Advocates have expressed concern that students who do not have the resources to leave the country are being put in a dangerous predicament.

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Several U.S. colleges have adjusted their instructional formats due to coronavirus concerns. The University of Southern California last week said the fall semester will be held “primarily or exclusively” online.

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According to USC, there were 12,265 regularly enrolled international students during fall 2019.