Published: July 13, 2020

Dear CU Geosciences community,

Like many of you, we are appalled by the recent ICE communication, announced Monday July 6th, regarding F-1 and M-1 status international students and online study. It is an attack on valued members of our departments, our institutes and our entire enterprise. It loads further anxiety and uncertainty onto many who are already coping with difficult or restricted research environments. And it increases the sense of isolation and lack of representation among a group who are indeed underrepresented.

The announced changes jeopardize the success and safety of our international students, both graduate and undergraduate, and come in the midst of a pandemic, when we are already carefully balancing access to research, access to learning, and public health. Without serving any legitimate purpose, they put students and the research and teaching enterprises that are the core of the university at risk.

The research institutes of CU Boulder, and the departments to which these institutes are partnered, are united in standing with our international students against this reckless and damaging policy and its cruel attempt to use our members as political pawns. We are working alongside university leadership to oppose the ICE guidance and protect our international students. At CU’s request, Representatives Neguse, DeGette, and Perlmutter have all signed letters urging the Department of Homeland Security and ICE to rescind the July guidance. In the meantime, the ICE policy is not finalized and it faces strong opposition in the courts and other arenas.

While the fluidity of the situation and the breadth of the response means that any details will be out of date quickly, we want to emphasize that action is being taken at all levels. We believe that our hybrid in-person and online course model will protect all CU students from this policy if it is enacted, even if we need to shift to a remote model partway through the semester. The departmental and institute leaders are in discussion, and will be making changes that will serve to protect students from ICE rulings.

If you are here as an international student, please know that we value you and your participation in our community and will support and defend your ability to continue your education without interruption. Please review the FAQs from International Student and Scholar Services and stay in touch with that office, as well as your advisors and professors, and look for resources from the Graduate School.

In the words of one of our international students, Lina Pérez-Angel, “Science is something that is supposed to cross borders.” Thank you to all of our international scholars for being here, for being partners in discovery and innovation, and for being at the core of who we are. We stand with you.


  Bob Anderson, Geology

  Merritt Turetsky, INSTAAR

  Waleed Abdalati, CIRES


Here are statements from other entities on campus, illustrating the breadth and depth of the response:

  Statement from the College of Engineering

  Statement from the United Government of Graduate Students


Update July 14, 2020: The ICE guidance barring international students from entering the U.S. if they were taking online-only courses has been rescinded.