From Seattle University President, Stephen V. Sundborg on July 8, 2020:
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
This week’s decision by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to issue new guidance that would prohibit international students from returning to or remaining in the United States if the university they are attending has to move to remote-only instruction this fall is deeply troubling, misguided and discriminatory.
As the pandemic took hold with the spread of COVID-19 this past spring, DHS waived the requirement that international students take in-person classes. It makes no sense to end the waiver as the pandemic continues to create unprecedented challenges and increased uncertainty for the fall.
While Seattle University’s current plans are to reopen this fall with a mix of in-person, hybrid and virtual classes and our goal is to have as much in-person instruction as safely possible, we have also been preparing for scenarios if circumstances are such that we must move to remote-only instruction. What is most important for international students and institutions at this time is the need for greater support and flexibility as well as a recognition that the health and safety of all students, faculty and staff must remain the foremost priority.
The DHS decision moves in the wrong direction and runs counter to the commitments and values we strive to uphold as a Jesuit university that prioritizes caring for each individual student and supporting you to the fullest extent possible in your educational journey. International students are greatly valued as members of our community and make significant contributions to the life of the university, and they should have the same opportunities as all other students to continue their education. The discriminatory order from DHS could harm the academic aspirations of hundreds of Seattle U students who enhance our educational mission and campus community.
I want to assure our international students that we are fully committed to doing everything we can to support you during this extraordinary time. In addition to publicly joining others in urging the DHS to reconsider its position, we have already begun to reach out to our members of Congress and consult with our higher education associations to determine collective action we can take to reverse this ill-advised decision.
Seattle U is a welcoming and inclusive community that is steadfast in our commitment to provide a supportive learning environment for every student in our campus community—regardless of background, religion, beliefs, identity, country of origin or immigration status. We find enrichment and strength in our diversity.
Our International Student Center team will remain in close contact with students impacted by this decision. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Dale Watanabe, director of the center, at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions or concerns needing to be addressed.
Stephen V. Sundborg, S.J.
From Dale Watanabe, Director of the International Student Center at Seattle University, on July 9, 2020:
Dear International Student:
We support you and understand this is a difficult time for you. I know the regulation update for the fall that was released on Monday was troubling and created a lot of fear for you. It was surprising and shocking for us to see this update too. In Monday’s email, it was not my intent to create fear, but I wanted to make sure you had all the information available relating to the update. Please know you have the commitment of the entire ISC team to do everything in our power to keep you here and protect your status. Also understand that this policy could be reversed if the Harvard and MIT lawsuit are successful. Below I would like to outline further guidance to support you during this time:
If you want to read the full ICE/SEVP 06 JUL 2020 memo, you can find it here: https://www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bcm2007-01.pdf
Director, International Student Center
February 3, 2017 - AG Ferguson obtains court order halting Trump immigration action
February 2, 2017 - Statement from the International Student Center on the Immigration Executive Order
Dear SU International Students,
The Seattle University International Student Center realizes that the recent immigration policy changes enacted by the Trump Administration have had a big impact on our international students and scholars. As a new government administration is now in Office here in the United States, there are always changes to large-scale societal systems that accompany new leadership, and I am writing to update you on what these changes are and how they might impact you as a non-resident immigrant within the USA. This Executive Order contains provisions that seriously impact individuals from particular countries of origin. Additionally, effects of the Executive Order’s increased screening procedures will likely have an impact on travel and possibly adjudication of USCIS benefits for many other immigrant or non-immigrant visa holders. If you have any immediate questions or concerns about your immigration status, please know that the International Student Center is here as an immigration resource.
Overview of the JANUARY 27, 2017 Executive Order “Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States”
Individuals on both Immigrant* or Non-Immigrant Visas from Libya, Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen (ie. Nationals of these countries, or including those who were born in or are permanent residents of these countries, or are dual nationals) please be aware of the following key issues which directly impact the ability to obtain visas or enter the US.
Individuals on Immigrant or Non-Immigrant Visas from all other countries please be aware of the following additional issues of concern. For the near future, the SU International Student Center recommends minimizing international travel due to the changing nature of the new administration’s policies on visas and U.S. entry.
The International Students Center will continue to monitor immigration related changes impacting our international students, and if you need anything our have outstanding questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 206-296-6260 or at email@example.com.
The International Student Center Team