On Friday, July 10, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, represented by international law firm McDermott Will & Emery, led 180 member colleges and universities—including CalArts—in filing an amicus brief 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 in online-only courses. 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 SEVP guidance that flexibility would continue “for the duration of the emergency.”
In a July 8 email to the CalArts' community in support of our international students, President Ravi Rajan and Provost Tracie Costantino wrote, "The arts represent a central part of cultural understanding and exchange, giving us nuanced perspective and insights that resonate with our humanity. Especially now, reinforcing the arts and artists of every origin is central to empowering expression and social change.
"We join our peers across the country in urging the administration to reverse course. We won’t let any international student risk losing their visa over this injustice. CalArts will make sure all international students will have course offerings that will let them stay in, or come into, the country."
The brief and list of signatories may be accessed here.