July 14, 2020
Dear USC community,
Earlier today, we were very pleased to learn that the Department of Homeland Security agreed to rescind its July 6 guidance. This would have, among other things, required our international students to take in-person classes in order to maintain their visa status. This policy was misguided from the very start, and it would have irreparably harmed our ability to serve and support our international students. We moved quickly to oppose it, pointing out rightly that it tried to leverage our international students to force a wholesale reopening of college campuses – all in the midst of a global health crisis and with no regard for public health guidance.
We should all feel proud of how our entire USC community came together to oppose this cruel and senseless policy change. We partnered with peer institutions in higher education and advocated strongly on Capitol Hill and with the Administration. And yesterday we filed a lawsuit against the federal government. International students have been a part of the USC community since our founding, and our collective efforts brought about the right result.
Today’s news is wonderful, and we welcome it with open arms. But we must stay vigilant, and make sure that our students’ safety and well-being are always protected.
Carol L. Folt, President