Good News Today for International Students (7/14/20)

Dear Pomona College Community,

There’s wonderful news today. The U.S. government has agreed to rescind the July 6 guidance from ICE that would have required international students enrolled at institutions that are offering an online-only curriculum this fall to leave the country.

The announcement came from Boston where Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were challenging the ruling in federal court. The parties came to a resolution in which the government agreed to rescind the directive and to return to the status quo established by March 2020 directives.

The government’s agreement to rescind the July 6 guidance is effective on a nationwide basis.

Yesterday, Pomona joined a coalition of 20 institutions of higher education in the Western U.S. in filing a separate lawsuit challenging this harmful and arbitrary directive. We were also engaged in examining every possible option to prevent this ruling, if implemented, from endangering our students’ futures. 

Through the President's Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education, Pomona also had joined in an amicus brief in support of the Harvard/MIT suit. In a statement today, the alliance noted: 

"We are cautiously optimistic, and simultaneously committed, to holding DHS and ICE accountable in its promise to rescind this guidance and to not reissue this international student ban, in whole or in part, in subsequent policies. That said, we are deeply indebted to the quick action and leadership of the 180 institutions that joined the Presidents’ Alliance amicus brief in support of Harvard and MIT’s swift legal challenge to the July 6th guidance, and the dozens more colleges and universities that were eager to join our next briefs."

Thank you to everyone at Pomona who joined in the effort to put together our response. It was encouraging to see educators from all across the country working together to fight this unjust policy shift, and today it is heartening to see those efforts rewarded. We will continue to be vigilant and willing to make our voices heard if further threats arise to the ability of our international students to pursue their educations.

International Student Advisor Carolina De la Rosa Bustamante will be in communication with international students and is available to answer any questions. Many thanks to Carolina for her tireless work on this issue.


G. Gabrielle Starr, president
Robert Gaines, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college
Avis Hinkson, vice president for student affairs and dean of students