Pomona, Scripps, Claremont McKenna and Pitzer sue federal government over ICE visa rules

A view of the blue sky and mountains, with some Scripps College buildings in the foreground.
Pomona, Pitzer, Scripps, and Claremont McKenna are four of 20 higher education institutions in the U.S. jointly filing a lawsuit against the federal government’s new visa guidelines. (Jasper Davidoff • The Student Life)

Pomona College, Scripps College, Pitzer College and Claremont McKenna College are suing the federal government to challenge new guidelines that affect international students’ ability to study in the U.S. 

The colleges are four of 20 higher education institutions in the western U.S. jointly filing a lawsuit against its new SEVP guidelines, which bar international students taking all-online classes from staying in the U.S., according to an announcement made by Pomona College President G. Gabrielle Starr. The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and permanent injunction to stop the policies from being implemented or enforced. 

“The government’s thoughtless and arbitrary action not only harms these students, but also robs institutions of higher education of the autonomy and flexibility to adapt models of instruction to meet the urgent needs posed by a global pandemic,” the coalition said in a statement. 

Claremont Graduate University recently signed onto an amicus brief issued by the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. 

The state of California is also suing the federal government over the ruling, joining the University of California system and colleges across the nation. 

Harvey Mudd College is the only undergraduate Claremont College to not join the coalition and could not immediately be reached for comment. 

A list of colleges joining the coalition is below:

  • The University of Southern California
  • University of Oregon
  • Oregon State University
  • Arizona State University
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Chapman University
  • Claremont McKenna College
  • Northern Arizona University
  • Pitzer College
  • Pomona College
  • Santa Clara University
  • Scripps College
  • Seattle University
  • Stanford University
  • St. Mary’s College of California
  • University of Arizona
  • University of the Pacific
  • University of San Diego
  • University of San Francisco 
  • University of Utah 
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