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Crowell & Moring Represents University of California in Suit against Department of Homeland Security over International Student Directive

Los Angeles – July 16, 2020: The Department of Homeland Security reversed its directive that would have forced international students to leave the United States if they were enrolled in only online classes due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Crowell & Moring worked with the University of California to file a lawsuit against the federal government and motion for injunctive relief, joining other universities making similar moves.

Crowell & Moring partner Jennifer S. Romano commented on the matter, saying: “The government changed its mind on a policy that would have drastically impacted the thousands of international students seeking education in this country. We appreciate the opportunity to work on this critical issue alongside the University of California.”

University of California Board of Regents Chair John A. Pérez and President Janet Napolitano released a statement on the decision:

“This sudden reversal by ICE is a win for common sense and for public health. Revoking the visas of international students in the midst of a pandemic would have put students’ futures, their communities’ health, and the U.S. economy in further jeopardy. College and university leaders must be allowed to make decisions about campus operations that are guided by public health experts — not by a hastily drafted, arbitrary and mean-spirited policy.

UC will continue putting our students’ health and safety first — and we will be keeping a watchful eye on what the administration might propose next should we need to step in again.

UC greatly appreciates the pro bono work of Crowell & Moring on this matter. Crowell & Moring has been the University’s long-time partner on a number of legal issues and has our complete confidence in handling complex and significant matters such as this one.”

The Crowell & Moring team that undertook this matter included partners Romano, Thomas A. Lorenzen, Daniel W. Wolff, A. Marisa Chun, Laurel Pyke Malson and Emily T. Kuwahara; counsel Pilar Stillwater, Molly A. Jones, Robert B. McNary, and Andrew Holmer; and associates Kimberley Johnson, Eli Berns-Zieve and Gabrielle Trujillo.


Andrew Loeb
Communications Specialist