Dear FIT Community,
On Monday, the Trump administration issued a directive aimed at international students that would force them to leave the country if their coursework is entirely online. They would lose their visas, be forced to return home, and risk the possibility that they would be unable to return. Students who remained in the country would face the potential of deportation. This cruel directive, destined to create unnecessary grief and trauma for students from abroad, is one more indication of the administration’s cynical disregard for the health and safety of all students, faculty and others on our campuses nationwide. Very simply, this directive must be rescinded.
It is hard to imagine US colleges and universities without students from countries around the world adding to the vibrancy of their campuses. In the fall of 2019, 947 students representing 71 countries were enrolled at FIT—many of you were their teachers or their classmates or their friends. They made up almost 12 percent of the student population. Throughout the nation, international students enhance the educational environment, adding incalculable value to campuses—such as ours—that prepare students for the global challenges ahead.
I have sent the attached letters to our Congressional representatives urging them to join in the battle to support our valued international students. I have also just signed a letter protesting this action from the American Association of Community Colleges. As you can see, this is a directive I vigorously oppose. There will be other advocacy efforts as well that we will be joining. I urge any FIT international student who has questions or concerns to contact our International Student Services Office. In the meanwhile, we will remain focused and vigilant in our opposition, and I will keep you updated as this battle unfolds.
Dr. Joyce F. Brown
Fashion Institute of Technology
Letter to The Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney
Letter to The Honorable Charles E. Schumer and The Honorable Kirsten Gillibrand