Message from the President on International Students | July 10, 2020

A statement from President Brennan O'Donnell on the recent policy update from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with new guidelines and requirements for international students.

July 10, 2020

To the Manhattan College community,

On July 6, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a policy update with new guidelines and requirements for international students and sponsoring institutions. This policy update modifies the previous COVID-19 exemptions for nonimmigrant students, as it pertains to online course enrollment.

At Manhattan College, we believe that our international students are invaluable members of our community and are committed to supporting them and advocating for inclusive and thoughtful federal policies.

I would like to add a special note of thanks to Debra D'Amico, Director, International Student and Scholar Services, Dmitry Satsuk, Director, International Admissions, and Ricardo Dello Buono, Director, Study Abroad for their outreach and assistance to affected returning, incoming and exchange students.

As part of our support for our students, I have joined the presidents of the American Council on Education in signing a letter to all of the members of both Houses of Congress. The letter asks their assistance in restoring the flexibility for us to offer international students online course alternatives during the length of this pandemic.

As a member of the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, I have also joined an amicus brief in support of Harvard's and MIT's suit challenging the forthcoming ICE Student and Exchange Visitor Program rules. The amicus brief explains that international students relied on directives from their schools in view of the government’s stated policy of deferring to school choices and explains how the July 6 directive threatens the plans these students made for the upcoming school year.

In sum, the ICE policy is misguided and imposes unnecessary hardship on thousands of new and returning international students, causing great uncertainty during an already uncertain time. We will continue to do everything we can to support our international students, and all of our students and their families during this time.

Brennan O'Donnell


By MC Staff