Message from Chancellor Watson on international students
Dear Campus Colleagues,
Earlier this month, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released its Fall 2020 operational guidance that prohibits international students from returning to or remaining in the United States this fall if the college or university they attend adopt online-only instruction models amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, Monday, July 13, 18 states, including Wisconsin, filed a lawsuit that challenges the rule. This is a dynamic situation and we are monitoring it closely, as is the UW System administration.
UW System President Tommy Thompson said, in a statement, “International students are welcomed here at the UW System. We fully support the Attorney General’s action today joining the lawsuit challenging the ICE rules regarding international students. While we provided background for the lawsuit, our belief is that our universities’ planned hybrid model of teaching delivery during the fall 2020 semester ensures our compliance with the rules if they are upheld.”
As a university that embraces diversity and inclusion — in all its forms — we find this order by ICE troubling. UW-Whitewater deeply values and appreciates our international students and staff. Our campus is a more engaging and vibrant place because of our international Warhawk family members. These valued colleagues represent more than 40 different countries contributing to the richness of our university. It is our hope that our international students and staff always feel that they belong on the UW-Whitewater campuses. We will continue to do everything in our power to ensure their presence and success at UW-Whitewater.
Currently, campus leaders and the staff in the Office of International Students and Scholars are working to support our international students. We are in contact with students at both campuses to ensure that they students feel supported, valued and cared for as well as receiving critical information that they need. We are also reaching out to instructors and administrators to explain the potential impact these rules could have on our students.
As members of the Warhawk family, I encourage all of us to take the time to reach out to students or friends impacted by these new rules to check in with them and to offer support.