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July 8, 2020
Dear Pitzer Community,
On July 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued new guidance that affects the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. Implementing such a directive during a global health crisis is a travesty that creates tremendous barriers for international students pursuing their education in the US. This guidance is at direct odds with our core values, and Pitzer College is committed to supporting our international students through this unfortunate and challenging situation.
International students enrich the college experience on campuses and classrooms across the country. This new ICE guidance concerning international student visas is onerous and blatantly unfair to millions of students striving to achieve their educational goals. It also serves to divide our country and the world even further.
Over the last several days, Pitzer’s International Programs staff have been in contact with our new and returning international students to provide support and counsel. The College’s chief legal counsel, dean of faculty, international programs staff and an outside immigration attorney are actively evaluating options for our students.
I am also working with the other presidents of The Claremont Colleges on a collaborative solution for our international students. Additionally, we hope that the entire higher education community and the public can provide needed pressure on ICE to revise the rules to provide greater flexibility to allow our international students the rich educational experience they deserve to advance towards their degrees.
Melvin L. Oliver