Published: July 7, 2020

Today, UGGS submitted the following statement to the Board of Regents requesting they take action against the recent rule from ICE restricting certain international students from enrolling in online classes. We recognize that international students make up an invaluable part of our campus community and will continue to fight for them.

UGGS statement to Board of Regents


I am writing to you in regard to a proposed rulemaking recently announced by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Specifically, changes to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) that will require nonimmigrant students on F-1 and M-1 visas to return to their home countries if their school operates entirely online as a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

I am formally requesting that The University of Colorado Board of Regents sue The United States Department of Homeland Security and Acting Director Chad Wolf on behalf of the students in the CU system affected by this decision. 

It is obvious and apparent to any reasonable person that this rulemaking is in clear violation of federal law. Specifically, the Administrative Procedure Act requires that government rulemakings be justified on the administrative record after notice and comment. A government rulemaking is arbitrary and capricious and in violation of federal law if, “the agency entirely failed to consider an important aspect of the problem, [or] offered an explanation for its decision that runs counter to the evidence before the agency.” Motor Vehicles Manufacturers Association v. State Farm Insurance 463 U.S. 29 (1983). 

The decision at hand clearly meets these factors. The Agency has failed to consider the massive implications of forcing students to leave their institutions of higher education and travel back to their home countries during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The Agency has offered no explanation for its decision, and the evidence before the agency clearly shows that immigrants students are an invaluable part of U.S. Colleges and Universities and we would be at a loss without them. There is no reasonable basis to require international students to leave the U.S. 

The Regents of The University of California just won a virtually identical case in the Supreme Court where the Department of Homeland Security made an “arbitrary and capricious” decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. A brief review of the DACA case shows that the government is attempting to take the same illegal action here and violate the Administrative Procedure Act. 

The implications of this decision are massive and far-reaching and if fully carried out, will be felt for years to come. The students of the University of Colorado system deserve to be protected from arbitrary government decisions. I hope that as the Board of Regents you will have the courage and determination to defend their interests. 

I look forward to hearing your reply.


Matt Vondrasek

President, United Government of Graduate Students