Occidental strongly supports its international students and opposes the recent Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) ruling.
UPDATE (7/14/20): Thankfully, the July 6 ICE directive was rescinded on July 14. This means that ICE is returning to the Spring 2020 guidance, which allowed students to maintain valid F-1 visa status as long as they are enrolled full-time (12 units) in Occidental classes—even if those courses are delivered through remote instruction and regardless of whether the student is inside or outside the U.S. The International Programs Office will be following up with all international students to provide additional information and guidance.
As so many of you know, in an abrupt reversal of earlier policy and without any offered justification, ICE this week released new guidance that would block international students from coming to or remaining in the United States if their courses are taught entirely online. This targeted, cruel policy will constrain the academic learning and research of our international students as well as the faculty who work with them.
We plan to protest and address this development on a number of levels. International Programs Office Executive Director Robin Craggs and IPO Associate Director Marisa Grover Mofford are doing everything they can to support our international students on a daily basis, given these extremely disruptive regulations. In addition, Occidental faculty have volunteered to explore creative ways to meet the new requirements for international students. At the same time, the College is also looking into filing court papers in support of litigation initiated by Harvard and MIT to stop the implementation of the new policy.
Occidental has been deeply enriched by the presence of students from around the world for over a century. We stand by them now and will work to ensure that they remain parts of our community and know they are valued and appreciated.
As this issue progresses, we will keep you informed of our efforts both to support our international students and to protest this policy.
Harry J. Elam, Jr.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the College