To Our Chapman Community –
Chapman University joined a coalition of 20 of the country’s premier research institutions, liberal arts colleges and public universities in the West that sued the federal government today to block the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from revoking visas for international students whose studies will be entirely online in the fall.
The lawsuit is seeking a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction, and permanent injunction to stop the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s July 6 directive from being enforced and its policies from being implemented.
The government’s thoughtless and arbitrary action not only harms these students, but also robs institutions of higher education of the autonomy and flexibility to adapt models of instruction to meet the urgent needs posed by a global pandemic.
Our more than 50,000 combined international students are an integral part of our communities and essential to our core missions. We are pursuing this case because all international students studying in this country deserve the right to continue their education without risk of deportation.
The universities in the coalition are the University of Southern California, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Arizona State University, California Institute of Technology, Chapman University, Claremont McKenna College, Northern Arizona University, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Santa Clara University, Scripps College, Seattle University, Stanford University, St. Mary’s College of California, University of Arizona, University of the Pacific, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco and University of Utah.
Additionally, Chapman University, in partnership with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, joined 178 colleges and universities 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) that effectively implements a ban on international students enrolled exclusively in online courses as a result of COVID-19. The amicus brief argues that higher education institutions and international students will experience significant burdens due to 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 Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) guidance that flexibility would continue “for the duration of the emergency.”