Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Rescission of ICE Directive
July 14, 2020

“Today’s action demonstrates the importance of international students to the United States and shows that together with one voice, all of higher education, the business community, and many others across our nation are making it clear that these students continue to be welcome here. We are enormously gratified that Harvard University and MIT, as well as many states and other colleges and universities, took immediate legal action to force the Trump administration to rescind its wrongheaded directive that would have prevented students attending U.S. institutions operating online during this global pandemic from remaining in or coming to our country. We believe this will facilitate the reopening of colleges and universities this fall.
International students are an extraordinary benefit not just to American higher education but to our entire nation, resulting in a wealth of new ideas, cultural connections, cutting-edge technology, and life-saving medical advances, including in the fight against COVID-19. The economic benefit that comes with the roughly one million international students who come here is also immense, yielding about $41 billion and resulting in more than 450,000 U.S. jobs.
Continuing to permit international students who have a valid F-1 or M-1 visa and are enrolled or entering the United States to begin a full-time course of study in an academic program that is conducted online or may shift to remote instruction during the semester is the sensible and humane thing to do. It helps ensure that the United States remains the destination of choice for the world’s most talented students and scholars, with all of the benefits that brings.”

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