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Chancellor Blank statement on new ICE rule

July 7, 2020

Chancellor Rebecca Blank shared the following statement on Tuesday, July 7.

New guidance on Monday, July 6 from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) of U.S.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement creates confusion and uncertainty for international students at UW–Madison and around the country at a time when they need our support and encouragement.

The rule would apply to 5,800 UW–Madison new or continuing F-1 students in any level of study. (J-1 students are exempt.) We’re aware that a substantial number are currently in the U.S. or plan to be this fall.

We are in the process of learning more about these procedures and their impact. UW–Madison plans to offer a hybrid model of instruction that we believe would allow international students to enroll in face-to-face classes and remain in the United States while continuing their studies.

Universities across the country are in the process of sharing reopening plans that attempt to balance public health imperatives with guidance from federal and state governments to continue to reopen to the extent possible. In instituting this rule, ICE fails to provide flexibility institutions and students may need to adapt to changing conditions, as we did during the spring semester.

UW-Madison is urging the federal government to stay or amend this plan through direct contact with Wisconsin’s Congressional Delegation and our leadership role in organizations such as the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and the Association of American Universities (AAU).

Since the start of the pandemic, international students have faced numerous difficulties and hardships, including travel restrictions, closed consulates, required and recommended quarantine periods, not to mention acts of xenophobia, hate and bias.

These students are valued members of our community, and we will continue to support and advocate for them.