Published July 13, 2020 by Bowdoin News

Bowdoin Files Amicus Briefs in Support of International Students

Bowdoin has joined with nearly sixty colleges and universities across the US in support of the ability of international students to continue their educations.

On July 6, the Trump Administration indicated that it would be issuing new rules that could adversely affect the ability of international students at most American colleges and universities—including international students at Bowdoin—to continue their educations.

In his message to the community on July 7, President Clayton Rose called the move “an appalling and divisive announcement at a time when so many in our country and around the world are already dealing with extraordinary challenges and hardships—and it is one tied directly to the politics of ‘reopening’ the country and to the administration’s longstanding and ongoing assault on immigrants and immigration.”

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed suit in federal court on Wednesday, July 8, seeking a temporary restraining order and injunctions to prevent the government from enforcing these rules, and Bowdoin has joined with others in amicus briefs that support their lawsuit. 

The arguments in the suit call the directive of July 6 “arbitrary and capricious,” noting its conflict with previous policies, the dilemmas and hardships faced by schools and students, and the compliance burdens that will be created by the directive. It concludes that the federal government's actions “directly threaten human health and safety.”

Bowdoin has also signed on to an amicus brief in support of a separate suit by the University of California and California State University systems.

President Rose updated the Bowdoin community on Monday, July 13, with a vow of support: “If Harvard and MIT do not prevail on Wednesday, we expect to learn things from the judge’s decision that could be important in crafting effective ways to support our international students, both those who will be on campus and those who will be at home. I will be back in touch as we learn more about the suit and on our plans should it look like they will be needed.”

Rose continued, “There is widespread condemnation in the higher education community for this attempt by the government to upend the lives and aspirations of international students. We will continue to do everything we can to make sure our students at Bowdoin are able to finish what they have worked so hard to achieve without jeopardizing their visa status.