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Statement on New I.C.E. Ruling for International Students

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As you may know, on Monday, July 6, 2020, the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) agency issued new rules regarding international students studying in the United States: those students will be required to attend at least some in-person classes in Fall 2020 or risk losing their immigration status. The new rule does not affect international students who live outside of the U.S. and who will take classes online only in the Fall from outside the United States.

Fordham University stands alongside the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU), and the statement of its president, Mary Beth Labate:

“Simply put, this will harm students and communities across New York and is a gratuitous attempt by the Trump Administration to coerce campuses into fully reopening before they are ready to do so and to frighten international students into leaving the country. Forbidding international students from taking online courses at a time when colleges are working to provide flexibility to students will force students to choose between their health and their ability to remain in the United States. If students are forced to abandon their studies and leave the country, the colleges and communities that benefit from their contributions to research and campus life will also suffer. On behalf of New York’s private, not-for-profit colleges and universities, I urge the Department of Homeland Security to rescind this new rule and give all students the ability to continue their studies in the United States while also protecting their health.”

Fordham University will do everything in its power to both ensure in-person classes are available to international students, and to advocate for a change in I.C.E. policy. We believe our international students are a source of strength and intellectual diversity for the Fordham community, and we stand with them in the face of what seems at best to be an ill-considered and punitive policy.

Sincerely,

Joseph M. McShane, S.J.

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