Wake Forest joins fight to combat federal restrictions against international students

The cupola of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library glows in the pre-dawn light, on the campus of Wake Forest University, Thursday, January 10, 2019.

In response to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) guidelines released this week, Wake Forest University has joined an amicus brief, prepared by the Presidents’ Alliance on Immigration and Higher Education, backing a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology against federal restrictions that threaten the education and wellbeing of international students. 

Yesterday, Wake Forest joined more than 150 higher education institutions united in the fight to combat the new ICE restrictions. The amicus brief, written by the President’s Alliance, which is not involved in the case but has a strong interest in the subject matter, supports the litigation filed by Harvard and MIT to prohibit the enforcement of the government’s order. 

According to ICE guidelines, nonimmigrant students under F-1 or M-1 visas must take at least one in-person class in order to stay in the United States. Those students taking fully online course loads this fall will be barred from entering or staying in the country. 

“This ICE policy will have far-reaching detrimental effects on our international students, the Wake Forest community, higher education as a whole and our society at large,” Nathan Hatch, president of Wake Forest University, said. “We stand with our students, who greatly enrich our campus, and we will fight for their opportunity to pursue their education with us.” 

In addition to supporting the brief, Wake Forest continues to use multiple methods to advocate against these guidelines and protect students, including working with elected representatives in Washington, D.C., and with peers and professional associations. The provost, deans and faculty are collaborating to make options available for in-person learning opportunities for international students, and the Office of International Student and Scholar Services is advocating for and offering support to students affected by these directives. 

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