Today brought outstanding news for our entire community, the country and artists everywhere: The Trump administration has just backed off new limits on international students in the United States.
Last week, the federal government had stated that they would not issue visas, or renew them, for international students who had to do coursework entirely online. But facing a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to which we joined through an amicus brief, the government has pulled back the policy.
In short, today’s news is victory over federal malfeasance. Alongside higher education peers across the country, we have prevailed against cruel rules that would have undermined our fundamental values of equity, inclusion, and access.
This was a quick fight, but it was instructive: Bluster and bullying fail in the face of inclusive, unified opposition. Hundreds of institutions and the attorneys general in at least 18 states banded together to oppose the administration’s plan. So did more than a dozen technology companies, as noted this afternoon by The New York Times.
As stunned as we were last week, we’re heartened today – heartened by the unified voices against this injustice, emboldened by the power of principle, and energized by the unity we saw materialize so quickly across the country.
We remain devoted to our international students, their growth, and their access, and we will share more information directly with international students (both new and continuing) and their families as we parse out the next steps given the return to the guidance of March 2020 as part of today’s actions. There will be more changes from the government, that much we can anticipate. We want you to know we are actively tracking any changes, and will continue to work with each student’s individual situation to design a plan for their return to CalArts.
Please accept our thanks for your unwavering support. Together we’ll continue to usher in brighter days.
Ravi and Tracie