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Message from the Chancellor on ICE directive regarding international students

At UH Hilo, we stand with our international students.


Bonnie Irwin
Bonnie Irwin

Today I signed a letter on behalf of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo asking Congress to encourage that the Department of Homeland Security withdraw the July 6 Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directive regarding international students and further asking Congress to “swiftly pass legislation that grants needed flexibility for our international students and institutions during the global pandemic.” The letter, issued by the American Council on Education and supported by all the other major higher education associations, will be delivered to Congress next week.

As UH President David Lassner wrote in his July 9 message, we view the ICE declaration as unfair and harmful during the current pandemic crisis, and we want our international students to have all the opportunities to further their education that our domestic students enjoy. The guidelines only add to the fear and anxiety of an already stressful situation that we are doing our best to address.

At UH Hilo, we stand with our international students. We have designed our fall offerings in a way that many of our courses are hybrid, which would allow international students to attend some of the classes face-to-face, thereby meeting the current requirement that they not take all their classes online. Our international programs staff is researching the current situation and we will keep our international students and our campus community informed as circumstances change.

In the meantime, know that we will do whatever we can to continue to support all our students in their education and to provide the best UH Hilo experience possible within the limitations we are given.


Bonnie D. Irwin

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