International students concerned about immigration - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

International students concerned about immigration

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) -

A new CBS poll found immigration is the top issue for the majority of Americans. President Donald Trump released some of his immigration guidelines earlier this week. 

International Midwestern State University students said they were still concerned about what these policies will mean for their future.

Andrea Mendoza, an international MSU student from Guadalajara, Mexico, lived in the United States with a student visa for more than three years. She says she's trying to get her PhD. in Literature.

She said she's worried about what may happen to her with President Trump's new immigration policy.

"My concern is my student visa is going to expire in May," said Mendoza. "If I wanted to stay for grad school or work, I need to apply for a new one."

She said she spoke with immigration lawyers who advised her not to leave the country after graduation because she might not be let back into the U.S.

"The thing they think is going to be hard is getting [a student visa] again because apparently, they've been cutting down the number of visas they give," said Mendoza. "That's my only concern."

For the first time since attending college, Mendoza says she won't visit her family in Mexico.

"Every break, summer break or Christmas break, that's what I forward to, going home and seeing my family," said Mendoza. "It's kind of sad not to now if I'm going to be able to go or if I'm going to have to stay here, until Christmas."

Mendoza said her family still doesn't know she plans on staying in the U.S.

"I don't want them to get sad or worried about me so I just haven't said anything," said Mendoza. She says she'll let them know once she figures out the situation.

U.S. Congressman Mac Thornberry said he doesn't believe there are any bills proposed to cut down the number of visas for workers or students. He said changes do need to be made to the immigration policy.

"Let more of the people who come here to study stay here so, they can create their jobs here," said Rep. Thornberry.

U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly vowed: "there will be no mass deportations and no use of U.S. military in immigration enforcement."

Some international students said they're still worried about deportation but Rep Thornberry said that would only apply commit crimes and are here illegally.

"It is still about those who have violated the law," said Rep. Thornberry. "[Homeland Security] said if you've been in the country and have not violated the law they are not targeting you.'"

Mendoza says she has a 60-day period to stay in the country while applying for a new visa. She said she qualified for an optional practical training which is like a work permit.

If she does have to go home, Mendoza said she would attend graduate school in Mexico not in the U.S. She says other international students are not as fortunate as her.

Copyright 2017 KAUZ. All Rights Reserved.

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