President Wells' Statement on ICE Decision Reversing International Student Restrictions

July 15, 2020

New Mexico Tech President Stephen G. Wells released a statement regarding Tuesday's Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announcement reversing its proposed plans to restrict international student visas:

On Tuesday, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it would not move forward with its proposed plans to restrict international students on F-1 visas who take a full online course load this fall while studying in the United States. ICE’s reversal is a welcomed decision for our international students, as well as for colleges and universities nationwide.

In support of our students, New Mexico Tech joined the New Mexico Attorney General’s lawsuit against the ICE announcement last week. Tech signed the amicus brief with MIT and Harvard. Michael Voegerl, the Director of the Office for Student Affairs and Coordinator for the office for International Programs, worked tirelessly with my administration preparing documentation for these efforts.

NMT made the decision to join in the legal action with the institutions from around the nation to do everything possible to safely reopen amidst the pandemic and economic recession. We need flexibility, not regulations from our federal government that negatively impact our international students.

The health and safety of our students is of the utmost concern during this pandemic, and it would be irresponsible to deny any university or its students the option of going entirely to remote instruction in the interest of public health and safety.

New Mexico Tech’s strength rests with its people – regardless of their country of origin. Welcoming the world’s brightest and most talented students is a long-standing American tradition, and it is an essential strength of our university and our nation.

Rest assured that New Mexico Tech stands by our international students, and I am committed to doing everything possible to protect the fundamental rights of all of our students to fulfill their educational aspirations and to study in a safe environment conducive to learning and collegiality.