July 2, 2020
Dear Santa Clara University Community,
On June 22, the US President issued Proclamation 10052 impacting H, L and some J visa statuses--followed by an Amendment issued on June 29. This action does not directly impact any current or admitted SCU students or scholars. While we are pleased that members of our community are not directly impacted by this recent action, the order takes place among a series of immigration actions that have created a challenging climate for our international students and scholars. Additionally, the pandemic poses special challenges for some of them.
At Santa Clara University, we are attentive to these immigration decisions and stand in solidarity and support with our international students and scholars who are such a valued part of our Santa Clara community.
We have long welcomed international students and scholars at SCU. In 1931, the University formed the International Relations Society to study the problem of the World’s peace. Our international students enrich and enliven our community. They provide diverse perspectives and augment the ideas and discussion in the classroom; they contribute to a rich array of scholarly research; they advance our global social and economic exchanges; and they support our financial vitality.
In alignment with our global outlook and our emphasis on diversity and inclusion, SCU hosts relatively large numbers of international students across campus and abroad. In 2019-20, SCU supported approximately 800 international undergraduate and graduate students, 700 recent graduates involved with post-graduation employment, 200 “Global Nomads” (U.S. passport holders living abroad), and 60 non-degree visiting and exchange students and scholars.
The recent restriction on certain visas occurs amidst the June 18 US Supreme Court DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) ruling and talk of limiting the post-graduation employment practical training of graduates from U.S. universities through Optional Practical Training (OPT). The Supreme Court DACA decision focused on administrative process matters rather than the racial, equitable and human concerns of the Dreamers and the communities in which they contribute. While we were pleased with the outcome, we are concerned that the Court's ruling left the door open for further immigration restrictions by the executive branch.
The Court often avoids controversial constitutional questions through many legalistic techniques. We have seen this frequently in issues of immigration, leaving the area unsettled and many people in our community more subject to political winds. You may remember that the first Muslim Travel Ban in January 2017 was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconstitutional, but the travel bans that followed were upheld after the government added non-Muslim countries. Additionally, the Supreme Court prevented the question about citizenship being added to the U.S. Census solely because of a process failure, without facing the underlying legal issues. We also recognize that the Proclamation was issued amid a drastic reduction in the numbers of refugees admitted from abroad, continuous severe restrictions on the ability of individuals to seek asylum at our borders, and a series of administrative decisions narrowing the application of our asylum laws.
We will continue to provide you with timely Immigration Policy Updates through direct communication and our Global Engagement website. You can learn more about our programs that support international students or scholars and ways you can get involved to support our diverse international community.
International students are valued and beloved members of our University community. Our hearts ache for so many of our international students and colleagues who are here yet missing their families and loved ones, and for those who are far from us at the moment. We are here to support you and to stand with you, especially in this time of uncertainty.
Lisa A. Kloppenberg Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
Susan Popko Associate Provost for International Programs