Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

ASLA & CELA Oppose Trump Administration Nonimmigrant Student Exemption Modifications

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)





Trump Administration Nonimmigrant Student Exemption Modifications

Amidst mounting pressure from colleges, universities, and organizations across the country–including strenuous objection from ASLA and CELA–the Trump Administration has abandoned a policy that would have forced international students at U.S. universities, including those studying landscape architecture, to leave the country.

Washington, D.C. [July 9, 2020] – The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA)  strongly oppose the United States Department of Homeland Security’s modification of temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online courses during the fall 2020 semester.

The modification forbids nonimmigrant students now taking full course loads online to remain in the United States, requiring them to either leave the country, enroll in a school offering in-person instruction, or face deportation.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities are working to provide a quality education and safe learning and living environments for students and faculty. As a result, many have adopted virtual learning as a substitute for in-person instruction. Penalizing hard-working students for the life-saving precautions of their schools is unfair, impractical, and harmful not only to the students, but to the integrity of American higher education and the economic future of the nation. At the same time, it will erode the hard-won stature of American universities internationally.

“Landscape architecture students come from all around the globe to study at accredited programs in the United States. Each one brings a unique perspective that enriches the learning experience for themselves and their classmates, and ultimately lifts the landscape architecture profession as a whole,” said ASLA President Wendy Miller, FASLA. “Depriving those dedicated students of the opportunity to remain in the United States is profoundly short-sighted and detrimental not only to the field of landscape architecture, but to every field of study.”

“In 1975, I left my home in Turkey to pursue my graduate studies in the United States, so I know firsthand the challenges of being a nonimmigrant student,” said CELA President Sadik Artunç, FASLA, “If I had been forced to return to my native country without a degree, I certainly would not be leading the most recognized educational organization of landscape architectural academicians in the world.”

ASLA and CELA strongly urge the Trump Administration to reconsider this policy change immediately.


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 Media Contacts:

2. Jacquelyn Bianchini

2. Sarah Gillian

About the American Society of Landscape Architects 

Founded in 1899, the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) is the professional association for landscape architects in the United States, representing more than 15,000 members.  The Society’s mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education, and fellowship. Sustainability has been part of ASLA’s mission since its founding and is an overarching value that informs all of the Society’s programs and operations. ASLA has been a leader in demonstrating the benefits of green infrastructure and resilient development practices through the creation of its own green roof, co-development of the SITES® Rating System, and the creation of publicly-accessible sustainable design resources.

About the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture can trace its beginnings to 1920. For almost 100 years, it has been concerned with the content and quality of professional education in landscape architecture. The CELA publishes the highest quality research conducted in the profession through its refereed publication, Landscape Journal. CELA’s annual conferences focus on recent research and scholarship in all aspects of landscape architecture. The CELA represents over 800 members from around the world, including virtually all the programs of higher learning in landscape architecture in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Learn more on our website at and follow us on Facebook at