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Newly signed Trump policy to impact international students and Chico revenue

Several Chico State international students stunned to hear they might soon be expelled -- out of the country.

Posted: Jul 10, 2020 7:33 PM
Updated: Jul 10, 2020 7:33 PM

CHICO, Calif. - Several Chico State international students stunned to hear they might soon be expelled -- out of the country.

"We didn't know what to do," said an international student from Ethiopia Ablehulu Debebe. "We did not see it coming, this was unexpected."

The Trump administration issued a new policy that says if international students are not enrolled in at least one in-person class, they'll have to leave -- in the middle of a pandemic.

"The biggest concern for me is the COVID situation right now," said Pratiksha Kapse, an international student from India.

Faculty agree.

"We're telling our international students that you must attend an in-person class no matter what, and that also has an impact on faculty," said International Student Advisor Tasha M. Alexander. "It's a health concern. This is a pandemic, a global pandemic. We have a responsibility to take care of the health and well-being of all our students, including our international students."

To some students going back home isn't as easy as it sounds.

"Another option is to leave the country but that would be bad for me," said Debebe. "Because Ethiopia has political unrest and our internet has been shut down for at least three weeks."

And they're losing hope.

"I honestly don't know what to do."

Even for those that did make it home, the issues still follow you -- through the security checkpoint.

"I got a position with a club and they meet every Wednesday at 6-8 pm which is 4-6 in the morning over here," said Hikmat Abou Shahla from Lebanon. "So it's a struggle."

They feel like they're being kicked out of a home -- a home they belong to.

"We're spending about 4-6 years of our lives in that community and those are our people now," said Shahla.

Kicking out international students wouldn't just hurt the school, it'd hurt the entire city.

"If you do the math," said Alexander and Coordinator of International Student Services Cindy McKay. "Four-million-96-thousand dollars -- that would be the impact on our community. That's not just an impact on the university, it's an impact on homeowners, landlords, shop owners, the community in general."
The students know how helpful they are to the economy -- and they're feeling kicked to the curb.

"We're paying a lot of money to get this," said Debebe. "It's sad that we're collateral damage for the ongoing politics of the United States."

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 526685

Reported Deaths: 9684
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1958054760
Riverside38487738
Orange38066653
San Bernardino34017477
San Diego30516568
Kern21228151
Fresno15759138
San Joaquin11958180
Alameda11909192
Santa Clara11030192
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Tulare9990193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8176131
Ventura787777
San Francisco698961
Santa Barbara652663
San Mateo5744120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma311339
Madera211432
Placer195318
San Luis Obispo192616
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa9809
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta3979
Colusa3574
Mendocino3419
Glenn3321
Nevada3161
Tehama2461
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1451
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo641
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
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Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
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Much cooler temperatures and the potential for mountain thunderstorms are ahead in your Wednesday forecast. Thunderstorms will result in increased concerns for fire danger. Much hotter temperatures are ahead for your weekend.
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