CGU Joins Brief Opposing Federal Decision on International Students (Updated)
*** SEE IMPORTANT JULY 14 UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS NEWS STORY ***
Claremont Graduate University (CGU) has joined a brief filed by higher education leaders against a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announcement this week that international students at U.S. colleges operating completely online this fall won’t be able to stay to continue their coursework.
A university response to the ICE decision was sent to the CGU community earlier today from President Len Jessup, Provost Patricia Easton, and Dean of Students Quamina Carter.
“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to require in-person class attendance is irresponsible and unwarranted,” the statement says.
The message asks international students with concerns to seek help and guidance from university officials at firstname.lastname@example.org
The ICE decision has been roundly condemned by many higher education groups, including the American Council on Education. Harvard University and MIT are suing the federal government, and the UC system is poised to file another suit.
The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration has filed an amicus brief in support of the Harvard and MIT lawsuit; CGU has joined the alliance brief as a signatory in protest of the ICE announcement.
Read the full statement below.
July 10, 2020
Dear CGU Community,
Our international students are essential to the fabric of CGU. As an academic community and as individuals, we were surprised and saddened by the recent federal announcement requiring international students in the U.S. to take in-person classes in the fall. We are committed to working with our students affected by this announcement and to aggressively seeking solutions to mitigate the impact. We have and will continue to voice our opposition to the SEVP ruling through professional academic bodies, including adding our signature to the amicus brief by the Presidents’ Alliance in support of Harvard’s and MIT’s suit challenging the forthcoming ICE SEVP rules. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision to require in-person class attendance is irresponsible and unwarranted.
We are committed to working with our students affected by [the ICE] announcement and to aggressively seeking solutions to mitigate the impact.
We are aware of the immediate implications of the ruling and will continue to monitor and explore options to support our students with the long-term decisions they need to make. We understand that this is causing concern and stress for many of our students in an already chaotic environment. We encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns by sending an email to email@example.com.
As of now, we are preparing for hybrid delivery of our classes for fall 2020. Given this mode of instruction, we are confident we can support international students who can attend classes in Claremont. While we actively prepare for hybrid delivery, we are aware that government policy in California and Los Angeles County could change and require fully online instruction. Fully online instruction remains an option for all CGU students throughout the academic year due to the pandemic, including international students who either cannot enter the U.S. or who decide to return to their home country. Please consult with our expert staff to review your options.
The diversity of our student population brings global perspective to our academic discussions and research and is of paramount importance to CGU. We are committed to working with our international students and their families as we navigate this recent development together.
We will communicate more information as it becomes available.
Len Jessup, President
Patricia Easton, Provost and Executive Vice President
Quamina Carter, Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President
***** IMPORTANT UPDATE, JULY 14, 2020******
An announcement that ICE has rescinded its ruling against international students was shared by CGU’s executive leadership team today in the following community-wide email message:
July 14, 2020
Dear CGU Community,
We are elated to share that DHS/ICE have rescinded their recent ruling that would bar international students who only take online courses from staying in the United States.
The higher education community came together immediately with a passionate response to this unwarranted ruling. The response from colleges and universities around the country was clear, cohesive, and immediate. International students bring a wealth of knowledge, dedication, and commitment to our institutions and are an integral part of our communities of higher learning.
To our CGU international students – thank you for your immense contributions to Claremont Graduate University. You are valued members of our community and we will work through these uncertain and challenging times together. On behalf of our staff and faculty, we all look forward to beginning our fall term together on August 31.
CGU Executive Council