June 7, 2020
To the Campus Community,
Yesterday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued plans to modify the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) temporary exemptions for F-1 visa nonimmigrant students taking online classes this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As CSUN is far into planning for a primarily virtual fall semester, along with the entire California State University and many other institutions, this new ruling has deep and troubling ramifications for all international students.
We are working with colleagues at the CSU Office of the Chancellor to quickly review these changes and communicate guidance for our international students. However, I know that this change in policy causes tremendous anxiety and uncertainty for our international students, their families and many in our campus community. My hope is that we will continue to offer our students maximum flexibility and identify solutions that mitigate the negative impacts on them. We will communicate more information toward that end as soon as possible.
I join with other higher education leaders, including the American Council on Education and the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities, in calling for these modifications to be rescinded in light of the efforts being made by universities across the country to stem the tide of COVID-19 and continue to provide transformative educational opportunities — both virtually and face-to-face. In the meantime, I ask that the university community reach out to and offer support for our international students where possible.
Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D.