Ximena Del Cerro was preparing to start her final semester of a graduate journalism program at NYU this September. Now, her plans are in turmoil.
“I felt very frustrated and discriminated against," NYU Student Ximena Del Cerro said. "I just adapted to this whole new life in a new country. If I don’t have a class person-to-person I have to leave the country.”
On Monday, the Trump administration announced international students will not be allowed to stay in the U.S. if their school's classes are entirely online this fall, a possibility for many students if colleges and universities continue to embrace remote learning because of the coronavirus.
Del Cerro is from Mexico. She says the new Trump administration policy poses a huge challenge to her goal of becoming a reporter in the U.S.
“If the last semester of my masters is not in the U.S., that makes things more complicated. It doesn’t let me grow my network or it doesn’t let me learn from the country before I tackle the work." Del Cerro said.
Ximena said it was a years long process to get a visa and if she needs to go back to Mexico she just won't have the same career opportunities as she would have in America.
"I either have to adjust my plans to work in Mexico or I just have to quit entirely,” del Cerro told NY1.
Columbia University's president denounced the new policy as "destructive and indefensible.”
He suggested the school will work to offer international students in-person instruction to get around the new rules.
NYU's president called the new policy "just plain wrong and needlessly rigid." He vowed the university would work with affected students to design their academic schedules so they meet the new requirements to stay in the U.S.