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AAU, Associations File Amicus Brief in Support of International Students

The following is a statement from the Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman about an amicus curiae brief AAU filed in support of the recent lawsuit from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology seeking to prevent United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement from implementing restrictions on international students:

Like many of my colleagues across higher education, I vehemently oppose the recent guidance from ICE mandating that international students take in-person classes to remain in the United States in the fall. This policy is not only needlessly cruel, but also dangerous for students, faculty, staff, and members of the communities surrounding our nation’s colleges and universities. The loss of $41 billion contributed to local economies by international students each year would also be incredibly damaging to America as it begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The higher education community has come together to deliver a vigorous response to the guidance, and across the board colleges and universities and the associations that serve them are working to emphasize just how crucial international students are to our nation’s educational and scientific enterprise. That is why AAU today joined ACE and 69 other higher education associations to file an amicus brief in support of the suit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is considering filing similar friend-of-the-court briefs, including for suits filed by the University of California system and the Johns Hopkins University.

For the United States to maintain its status as the global leader in science and technology, we must continue to welcome international students, scholars, and researchers. Implementing unnecessary rules to make it difficult for these talented students to stay in our nation only serves to diminish America’s greatness.

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Founded in 1900, the Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU’s 65 research universities transform lives through education, research, and innovation.

Our member universities earn the majority of competitively awarded federal funding for research that improves public health, seeks to address national challenges, and contributes significantly to our economic strength, while educating and training tomorrow’s visionary leaders and innovators.

AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education; and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

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