As you may know, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced a policy change that denies international students full access to their education should their institutions need to implement online instruction.
Trinity University stands in full opposition to this policy, and I write to share with you that we have joined our peers in the Associated Colleges of the South (ACS) to call for an immediate reversal of this policy. In addition, we recently signed on to support an amicus brief by the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration in support of the Harvard/MIT lawsuit. Finally, we have signed the letter in preparation by the American Council of Education that will be submitted to Congressional leaders next week seeking their intervention with the Department of Homeland Security.
The effects of the global pandemic have forced many changes to the nature of instruction to protect the health and safety of all involved, including the need for a hybrid approach to instruction. Regardless, the quality of the education and our focus on developing individuals who think deeply and act meaningfully is unchanged, and our international students' access to that experience should remain unchanged. Moreover, our international students contribute significantly to the quality and experience of a Trinity education, bringing unique perspectives and lived experiences that enrich us all.
Until the temporary exemptions established in the Spring are reinstated, the Center for International Engagement (CIE) is working with international students and their parents to design solutions and approaches for each student and their unique situation. The CIE staff and others are working diligently and persistently to understand the new policy and to assess our students’ options; even today, they are communicating with new and returning international students about their options. I want to thank them and the many other faculty and staff who have expressed support and willingness to help during this transition.
As a community, we will continue to stand with our international students and their families as they seek a reasonable and speedy resolution to this unnecessary disruption in their academic careers. Should you have any questions, please contact Dr. Katsuo Nishikawa, Director of the Center for International Engagement. Thank you in advance for your continued support.
Danny J. Anderson