Sent on July 9, 2020

To the Members of the Georgetown Law Community:

On Monday, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released guidelines that require international students with F-1 visas to leave the country if their universities decide to go entirely online or if they opt to participate in classes online-only in a hybrid model, like ours, which offers students the option for in-person or remote classes. I consider the announced policy nothing short of disgraceful. It runs counter to our core commitment to our international students, who are central to our educational mission and our diverse and robust community. We value our international students and are committed to their academic progress and to their health and well-being.

As outlined in a message from University President DeGioia, Georgetown is working at multiple levels to contest the policy, including through national advocacy among academic leaders, collaboration with higher education associations, working with Congress, and participating in legal challenges. Georgetown will join an amicus brief in support of litigation filed yesterday by Harvard and MIT in the U.S. District Court in Boston to block enforcement of the order.

At the same time, the University is doing everything possible to provide academic programs that comply with the new ICE rules, should they stand, while protecting the health of our students, staff, and faculty. The Law Center is working on developing a course of study that would allow international students to safely meet the in-person learning requirement.

During the past few days I have heard from many students, staff, and faculty expressing support for our international students. I am moved by this outpouring of support, including the generosity of professors who have offered to teach special classes so that our international students may have enough in-person course time to remain on campus. As a community we are all working together to meet this challenge with our collective goal being for our international students to continue their academic program at Georgetown Law.

Over the coming days, we will be offering more specific guidance for our international students. We recognize the urgency as decisions on registration and housing are pending.

Let me end with this note directly to our international students: You are central to our community and we value all that you bring to Georgetown Law, academically and socially. As President DeGioia stated, “Our international students are integral members of our University community, who have earned their place at Georgetown and who make vital contributions to the Academy and our world.” The Law Center is firmly committed to your education and your place in our community.

Sincerely,

Bill

William M. Treanor
Dean and Executive Vice President
Paul Regis Dean Leadership Chair
GEORGETOWN LAW