Shared by Dean Merit E. Janow on July 9, 2020:

Dear Members of the SIPA Community,

I write to share with you that Columbia University is filing a legal brief in support of the lawsuit initiated yesterday by Harvard and MIT against U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s recent directives regarding international students and online learning. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is seeking to deny visas to international students if the only courses they take this fall are entirely online. Harvard, MIT, Columbia, and many other universities are now challenging these misguided directives in court.

As indicated in the announcement below, Columbia’s legal brief will focus on the enormous and incalculable contributions that our international students make to our university community. Nowhere is this more true than at SIPA, where every year about 60 percent of our students are international. We all benefit tremendously from our truly global community at SIPA, and speaking on behalf of the School, we unequivocally support our international students and the University’s participation in this important litigation.

I circulated a message yesterday in which I shared that we are seeking guidance how best to adapt to these evolving circumstance and to provide a path forward for our international students. More information will be shared as soon as possible so that our incoming and continuing international students have as much information as possible in order to plan for the upcoming academic year. We appreciate your patience given this rapidly evolving situation. In the meantime, students are encouraged to reach out to Columbia’s International Students and Scholars Office with any immigration or visa-related questions they have [https://isso.columbia.edu/content/contact].

We stand with and support SIPA’s international students, and look forward to welcoming you all in the Fall.

Sincerely yours,

Merit E. Janow
Dean, School of International and Public Affairs
Professor of Practice, International Economic Law and International Affairs

Read the full Office of University Life statement here.