Weber State University joins 180 colleges and universities in litigation opposing ‘international student ban’
OGDEN, Utah – Today, Weber State University, in partnership with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, joined 180 colleges and universities in an amicus brief filed in support of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s legal complaint against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The plaintiffs seek an injunction against new guidance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which effectively bans international students enrolled exclusively in online courses as a result of COVID-19 from remaining in the United States.
The brief argues that higher education institutions and international students will be burdened by the guidance’s arbitrary prohibition, without notice, to online-only courses for international students, particularly after investing substantial resources in planning their fall 2020 operations. Institutions, the amicus argues, relied heavily on the existing SEVP guidance that flexibility would continue “for the duration of the emergency.”
The brief and list of the colleges participating in this legal action is available here.
“The new ICE guidance announced on July 6 has added significant uncertainties both for higher education institutions and for international students, in addition to the existing challenges presented by the ongoing pandemic situation,” said Dr. Yimin Wang, senior international officer at Weber State University. “Cases of the virus are increasing and the national emergency is still in effect. We request ICE to allow institutions to continue to operate under the flexible policies previously established so as to enable higher education institutions to best serve our students.”
Currently, Weber State has about 300 international students. Since the announcement of the new ICE policy, WSU’s Office of International Programs has been working with both international students and the academic departments to make sure that each student meets the visa requirement and continues to make academic progress during the course scheduling process.
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