You Are Welcome Here: Response to ICE Policy

Bellarmine’s family is from everywhere. You are welcome here.

Bellarmine University is a rich and diverse community of students, faculty, and staff from dozens of countries around the world. COVID-19 has created worry and stress for us all. Our international community members, especially, have faced many challenges, including decisions about whether to return home amid uncertainty about travel, risks to health, and the pressure of being so far from family.

This time of crisis should be a rallying call for the world to stand together in solidarity and support.

We do not support the new requirements from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for international students—they are harsh, punitive, and antithetical to the values that our country and University embrace. Students should not be facing this burden in addition to the restrictions this spring barring entry to the United States from dozens of countries and the closure of U.S. embassies around the world, denying students the ability to obtain visas. Our international students are valued members of our community and should receive the same educational opportunities as our domestic students.

The situation is developing rapidly due to the national outcry against these new restrictions from ICE. Unfortunately, the announcement comes late in the planning stages for universities across the nation, many of which have already announced an online-only experience for the fall.

Bellarmine’s planned hybrid instruction model for the Fall 2020 semester should allow our students to continue their studies within the United States. We are hard at work to ensure individual class schedules will accommodate the requirement for in-person study. We will be accepting applications for international transfer students through August 15, extending our deadline for students who are now forced to make incredibly difficult decisions regarding their future.

We hope that this situation will improve in the coming weeks. Please reach out to Admissions at or to International Student & Scholar Support at with any questions or concerns.

Susan M. Donovan, Ph.D.

DJ Mitchell, Ph.D.
Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer
Co-Chair, President’s Advisory Board on Equity and Inclusion

Patrick Englert, Ph.D.
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Co-Chair, President’s Advisory Board on Equity and Inclusion

Theodora Hannan
Coordinator, International Support