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PCC Governing Board Joins Brief Supporting International Students

July 10, 2020

On Friday, the Pima Community College Governing Board voted to join an amicus brief in the lawsuit filed last week by Harvard College and Massachusetts Institute of Technology against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  The lawsuit seeks an injunction on a new rule that would prevent International students from receiving  F-1 and M-1 visas if they take a fully online course load.

The brief will be filed by the President’s Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration on behalf of nearly 200 colleges and universities across the country.

Many colleges, including Pima, transitioned to a largely virtual and online environment following outbreaks of COVID-19.   While Pima had intended to have more courses on campus this Fall, the recent spike in Arizona cases led the college to remain primarily virtual. We applaud and support this prudent and thoughtful decision.

In the 2019-2020 academic year, 336 international students were enrolled at Pima Community College.

Pima Community College very much values our international students for the global diversity and opportunities for understanding and engagement they bring to our local students. Even in online classes, the opportunities for our international students and local students to interact with and learn from each other is not diminished.

Not only do we fear for the international students who could lose their ability to study in the United States, but we also risk depriving our local students, many of whom are first generation minority students, from gaining a powerful perspective that will be required in our global economy.

It is incredibly disquieting that international students are being used as political instruments.

We thank Pima for working quickly and very hard to meet this unanticipated need for our international students in time for the Fall semester, but it is our fervent desire that this decision be reversed immediately and students here on valid F-1 and M-1 visas be allowed to continue their studies using the modalities offered by a regionally accredited institution of higher education.

Demion Clinco
PCC Governing Board Chair

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