Jenkins condemns ICE restrictions as University joins Harvard, MIT lawsuit
Observer Staff Report | Thursday, July 9, 2020
Editor’s Note: This story was last updated 11:07 p.m. July 13.
University President Fr. John Jenkins officially filed an amicus curiae brief Monday in support of a lawsuit by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to block Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) decision to expel international students who attend universities exclusively online for the fall semester.
“Having already overcome the hurdles of being accepted to an American university, and authorized to travel and live here, foreign students now have to grapple with the uncertainty of being expelled from the country simply because of the way instruction is delivered,” Jenkins said in the letter Thursday
While the new regulations from ICE do not currently affect Notre Dame students returning to campus in the fall, international students would not be exempt if their universities were forced online due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
According to the letter, about 1,400 international students are enrolled at Notre Dame each year. When the University sent students home in March, the University was able to accommodate over 100 stranded students.
Jenkins said international students were “an essential part of [the Notre Dame] campus community.”
“They make lifelong friends here. They become future colleagues of faculty and alumni. We embrace our visitors. We don’t chase them away,” Jenkins said. “No harm and much good would result if Immigration and Customs Enforcement took a similar approach.”