Lehigh Signs on to Presidents’ Alliance Amicus Brief in Support of Harvard/MIT Lawsuit

The university is supporting a federal court lawsuit challenging a Student and Exchange Visitor Program directive.

Lehigh's Alumni Memorial Building

Lehigh University has signed on to the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration’s amicus brief in support of the Harvard/MIT federal court lawsuit challenging the July 6th directive released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a part of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), that would substantially modify existing agency policies allowing online study for international students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The brief was filed on Friday, July 10.

In a message to campus on Thursday, July 9th Cheryl Matherly, vice president and vice provost of international affairs and Nathan Urban, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs wrote:

“Lehigh University is strengthened by the diverse group of students, faculty and staff that we recruit from across the world. The experience, expertise and dedication of our international students and colleagues are essential to Lehigh’s outstanding educational and research programs. The new rule issued on Monday by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), a division of the Department of Homeland Security, is extremely disruptive to students and to universities like Lehigh.”

Matherly and Urban expressed support for international students in their continued pursuit of their educational goals at Lehigh: “Given the stresses and challenges already faced by students and universities due to the global pandemic, it is critical that we communicate clearly and directly about Lehigh’s commitment to providing the best possible education and supporting our diverse community.”

The Presidents’ Alliance brings together American college and university chancellors and presidents dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses and communities. They support policies and practices that create a welcoming environment for immigrant, undocumented and international students on our campuses.