Earlier this week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced modifications to the Student and Exchange Visitor Program that would significantly impact international students legally in the country and the colleges and universities where they are pursuing their education. SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) encourages the administration, elected officials, and colleges and universities to act to protect international students affected by these modifications and to ensure they can remain enrolled and take classes. SHPE joined 64 other educational and scientific societies, representing STEM professionals in all fields, both in the U.S. and internationally, that signed a letter asking that the modified rules be withdrawn immediately..
“Many colleges and universities are considering alterations to their Fall 2020 campus plans that will allow students to continue their education while recognizing the threat that COVID-19 poses to public health, including the health of their students and their employees,” said Miguel Alemañy, National Board Chair of SHPE. “The modified rules announced this week would hurt international students and have a negative impact on their ability to earn their degrees.”
“The uncertainties created by COVID-19 call for a flexible and adaptable approach by all institutions and individuals,” said Raquel Tamez, Chief Executive Officer of SHPE. “At a time when many of SHPE’s student members are facing significant obstacles to achieving their dream of a college diploma, we stand united as a Familia in calling for action to preserve the ability of all international students to continue their education at their U.S. colleges and universities.”
In the absence of the withdrawal of the modified rules, we ask Congress to intervene to protect international students and provide students with the ability to attend their colleges and universities and participate in the full range of educational options offered by their schools. We fully support those colleges and universities who are fighting to maintain meaningful educational opportunities for all students and encourage all schools to work with their international students on effective solutions that advance their education.
SHPE is monitoring developments in Washington, D.C., in colleges and universities, and in federal court where Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have filed a lawsuit that seeks to restore students’ ability to pursue their education.
Additionally, SHPE is also exploring resources to assist its members that may be impacted by these changes.
As an organization that has supported Hispanic students and professionals in STEM for nearly 50 years, SHPE understands the value of education and will do what it can to support the international students, especially SHPE members, whose education will be disrupted by these proposed modifications.
SHPE (Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers) is a nonprofit organization serving and advancing Hispanics in STEM. With more than 13,000 student and professional members, SHPE’s mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. To accomplish this, SHPE provides a variety of programming, services, resources, and events, including hosting the largest Hispanic STEM convention in the nation. For more information, visit http://shpe.org.