Message to Achieving the Dream National Network: ICE Proposed Guidelines Show Lack of Regard for International Students

Homeland Security’s announcement this week that international students face deportation if they take only online courses this fall is sending shock waves through higher ed. The proposed guidelines show a lack of regard for international students and the diversity, innovation, ingenuity, and economic investments they bring to our campuses and communities. At some Achieving the Dream colleges, especially on either coast, the proposed guidelines also put in jeopardy millions of dollars.

In a powerful message to Highline College students today, President John Mosby wrote: “The recent federal policy change regarding international students is absurd, unfair, cruel and harmful to higher education across the United States. This policy currently requires international students take in-person classes, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to keep their visa status. This decision is also devastating to our regional and national economies.”

In support of your institution and your international students, Achieving the Dream has posted on our website numerous resources created by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, the American Council on Education, and numerous other advocacy and policy groups. ATD will keep this page up to date with additional news about final Homeland Security guidelines and advocacy resources as they become available.

We also call your attention to two informational webinars that will occur on Friday, July 10, 2020:

  • American Council on Education/ NAFSA Briefing: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET, ACE President Ted Mitchell and Terry Hartle, ACE senior vice president, along with Jill Allen Murray, deputy executive director at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, will provide an overview via Zoom of the guidance and its impact on fall 2020, and outline potential community advocacy actions in response. Register here to participate in the briefing.
  • Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration Rapid Response Briefing: ICE's SEVP Guidance for International Students and Higher Education, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET. This briefing will explain what is known about the new guidance, share crucial campus and student perspectives, and discuss potential litigation and advocacy opportunities. RSVP here.

On behalf of Achieving the Dream, I am signing a letter from the American Council on Education and several national associations asking Homeland Security to withdraw their new guidance as soon as possible and grant needed flexibility for international students and institutions during the global pandemic.

International students are valued members of our colleges and communities, and we are not whole without them.

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