University of the Pacific joins immigration lawsuit against federal government

University of the Pacific has joined a coalition of 20 universities to sue the federal government to block the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from revoking visas for international students whose studies will be entirely online in the fall.

“This new federal regulation is an attack on our international students and higher education,” said Pacific president Christopher Callahan. "It is outrageous, and we will do everything in our power to ensure the academic success, safety and security of our international students."

As the oldest chartered university in California, Pacific has a rich history of welcoming international students, establishing the first university-based undergraduate school of international studies in California in 1986. In fall 2019, 8.5% of Pacific’s students were from countries outside of the U.S.

"Our international students deserve the full opportunities and experiences of a Pacific education no matter where they are or how they are learning,” said Callahan. “As we prepare for the fall semester, we will work closely with every affected international student to help them achieve their educational goals and dreams.”

Ted Olson '62, an alumnus of Pacific, is the lead counsel on the legal team presenting the lawsuit. Olson served as United States Solicitor General (2001–2004) under President George W. Bush and was Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Office of Legal Counsel in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1981-1984.

The universities in the lawsuit are the University of Southern California, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Arizona State University, California Institute of Technology, Chapman University, Claremont McKenna College, Northern Arizona University, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Santa Clara University, Scripps College, Seattle University, Stanford University, St. Mary’s College of California, University of Arizona, University of the Pacific, University of San Diego, University of San Francisco and University of Utah.