July 8, 2020

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith Community,

On Monday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced new guidance that would force international students to leave the country if all of their college classes are held online. While the majority of classes at HWS this fall will be held in-person or using a hybrid model and we should therefore not be affected directly, Hobart and William Smith are firmly opposed to the guidelines, which would cause unjustifiable hardship for international scholars, their education and the communities in which they study, teach and live.

Today, I joined with the other college presidents of the New York Six Liberal Arts Consortium in voicing our strong objection to the guidelines, as well as to the earlier Executive Order to suspend the H-1B visa program. As the attached statement indicates, international students and faculty are integral to the Hobart and William Smith community and essential to the quality and character of higher education in the U.S.

I want to assure our international students, faculty and staff that you have the Colleges’ full support against any governmental move toward deportation or travel restrictions based on this guidance. The Colleges will also be joining an amicus curiae brief filing along with a number of other colleges and universities in support of the suit filed today by Harvard and MIT to block the ICE directive.


Joyce P. Jacobsen