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HWS President Jacobsen says international students will be supported regardless of visa changes

Earlier this week the federal government issued guidance for international students as colleges and universities across the U.S. consider their options moving forward.

The takeaway: If a college or university does not offer in-person learning opportunities this fall – any international students on a the H-1B visa program will have to find an institution that does, or leave the U.S.

The move caught many by surprise.

Officials with Hobart and William Smith Colleges released a statement of their own after the announcement was made by ICE, who oversees that visa program.

“While the majority of classes at HWS this fall will be held in-person or using a hybrid model and we should therefore not be affected directly, Hobart and William Smith are firmly opposed to the guidelines, which would cause unjustifiable hardship for international scholars, their education and the communities in which they study, teach and live,” HWS President Joyce Jacobsen said in a statement.

“[I’m joining] with the other college presidents of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium in voicing our strong objection to the guidelines, as well as to the earlier Executive Order to suspend the H-1B visa program. As the attached statement indicates, international students and faculty are integral to the Hobart and William Smith community and essential to the quality and character of higher education in the U.S.”

Meanwhile, she issued assurances to international students, faculty, and staff that HWS will continue to support them against any government move toward deportation.

“The Colleges will also be joining an amicus curiae brief filing along with a number of other colleges and universities in support of the suit filed today by Harvard and MIT to block the ICE directive,” Jacobsen added.