Colleges File Amicus Brief in Support of International Students

Ivy League Amicus Briefs, International Students, International Professors
All eight Ivy League schools have filed amicus briefs in support of their international students and professors.

66 U.S. universities have filed friend-of-the-court briefs in U.S. District Court in North Carolina, voicing public support for international students and professors. The amicus briefs were submitted in response to a lawsuit brought this past October by Haverford College, Guilford College, and The New School among others against the United States Department of Homeland Security and its chief Kirstjen Nielsen. It’s alleged in the suit that the new rule that concerns F, J, and M visas, which took effect this past August, can cause great harm to international students and professors studying on their campuses.

Who Filed the Amicus Briefs

Among the schools that have filed friend-of-the court briefs are each Ivy League school: Princeton University, Harvard University, Yale University, Cornell University, the University of Pennsylvania, Brown University, Dartmouth College, and Columbia University. Smith College, the California Institute of Technology, George Washington University, Northwestern University, New York University, the University of Southern California, Barnard College, Vanderbilt University, Williams College, the University of Michigan, Sarah Lawrence College, Middlebury College, Stanford University, Swarthmore College, Washington University in St. Louis, Boston College, Duke University, Rice University, Georgetown University, Amherst College, Wellesley College, Tufts University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were also among the highly selective colleges that filed amicus briefs.

Why These Amicus Briefs Were Filed

As Princeton University cites in a press release, “The brief argues that the new rule upsets the stability of the F, J and M visa programs and ‘needlessly exposes international students and exchange visitors to devastating reentry bans…. This new rule will harm international students and scholars, as well as the institutions which host them.'” You see, under the old rule, which was in place since 1997, students accrued what was termed “unlawful presence” on the earlier to occur of: (1) the day subsequent to the government finding a non-immigrant status violation or (2) the day subsequent to the expiration of their Form I-94. Under the new policy that took effect in August, students are stripped of their visa status and are deemed to be in the U.S. unlawfully on the earlier to occur of: (1) the day subsequent to their stopping of their studies or (2) the day subsequent to their Form I-94 expiring.

As reports Deborah D’Souza for “Investopedia” in a piece entitled “Harvard, MIT Among 65 Colleges Supporting Legal Challenge to Trump Visa Policy,” “The colleges argue that while the earlier rule provided everyone with a clear notice of when the ‘unlawful presence’ clock began ticking and gave visa holders a chance to fix the error or to leave the country before the imposition of ‘devastating’ reentry bans, the new rule allows any DHS officer to set a retroactive start date for ‘unlawful presence.'”

We’ll be sure to update our readers on any significant status updates in this unfolding case so be sure to check back soon.


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