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University of La Verne Joins 178 Colleges and Universities in Litigation Opposing Federal International Student Guidelines

The University of La Verne, in partnership with the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, has joined 178 colleges and universities in an amicus brief filed in support of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s legal complaint against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

The plaintiffs seek an injunction against new guidance from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that effectively implements a ban on international students enrolled exclusively in online courses as a result of COVID-19.

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.”

The University of La Verne is planning to make in-person instruction available to international students in the fall, pending state and county approval. However, should international students be required to study fully online due health or other concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, they should be allowed to do so, University of La Verne President Devorah Lieberman said.

“Our international students contribute greatly to the university and surrounding community and we remain committed to providing them a quality education,” Lieberman said. “We will continue to support them in every way we can.”

The University of La Verne has been in touch directly with its international students to discuss options with them. Students who need immediate assistance may contact the Office of International Students and Engagement at oiss@laverne.edu.

The brief and list of signatories may be accessed here.