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With UW–Madison support, Wisconsin joins lawsuit against student visa changes

July 13, 2020

Chancellor Rebecca Blank issued the following statement July 13 in response to Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul’s announcement that Wisconsin is joining 16 states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit seeking an injunction to stop changes to international student visas.

I applaud Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul’s decision to join litigation challenging new rules restricting international students attending American universities on F-1 Visa status. The University of Wisconsin–Madison staff provided information to UW System and the Attorney General’s office and will continue to offer information and support.

This fall UW–Madison plans to offer a hybrid model of instruction that we believe will allow our 5,800 international students to enroll in face-to-face classes and remain in the United States while continuing their studies. However, with unpredictability surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vitally important that universities have flexibility in how they deliver instruction.

Our international students are valued members of our community, bringing unique perspectives and enriching the diversity of experiences in our classrooms, laboratories and extracurricular activities. Since the start of the pandemic, they have faced numerous difficulties and hardships, including travel restrictions, closed consulates, required and recommended quarantine periods, as well as acts of bias and hate. We must do all we can to welcome them here. We will continue work alongside UW System, Attorney General Kaul and state and federal legislators to support international students and advocate for them.

We are continuing to communicate directly with international students – for more information, visit