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Response to ICE Reversal of International Student Guidance

A message from President Suzanne Rivera

Dear Macalester Community, 

I am thrilled to learn that Immigration and Customs Enforcement  (ICE) has reversed its recent guidance, and hope today’s news provides some measure of comfort for our international students, many of whom have spent the past week in needless fear and uncertainty. 

Today, U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs announced that the U.S. agreed to rescind a new policy requiring students with F-1 visas to take at least one in-person class this fall or leave the country. This will allow international students the option to participate in classes online without jeopardizing their visa status.  

Our initial read of this ruling is that Macalester’s international students can make decisions for the fall based on what’s best for them in terms of their own health, safety, and educational plans. The legal decision, which followed a national campaign for rescission led by colleges and universities, is a clear example of justice prevailing over a policy that had cruelty at its core.  

I want to acknowledge that, while this is a very positive development for our returning students, this policy reversal does not address the difficulties that incoming international students are still having with obtaining visas and complying with the requirement that they arrive before the beginning of the semester. We will continue to monitor the official guidance and work hard to find solutions for those who are affected by these continuing challenges.

If you are an international student who has specific questions or concerns, please email Aaron Colhapp at [email protected].

July 14, 2020