Interested in Sharing Your Concerns and Suggestions with DHS?

May 10, 2012

By Steve Springer

Do you have feedback for SEVP about your recertification process, I-17 updates, or the evidence they're requesting concerning your ESL program's accreditation?  Do you want to hear the latest information about SEVIS II and how it may impact your business practices?  Are you interested in discussing your “Campus Sentinel visit” with the Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit or asking what to expect if you haven't yet been visited?

You can speak with Department of Homeland Security (DHS) officials directly at the DHS Pavilion in the expo hall throughout NAFSA 2012 Annual Conference & Expo.  More than 50 DHS officials will staff the pavilion, including many from SEVP and others from Secretary Napolitano's Office of Academic Engagement, USCIS, CBP, and the ICE Counterterrorism and Criminal Exploitation Unit, among others.

NAFSA staff and the International Student and Scholar Regulatory Practice Committee (ISS-RP) conduct regular liaison with DHS on your behalf.  We communicate your concerns (gathered through IssueNet and other vehicles), make recommendations and requests, and provide information to DHS about your work and the enterprise of international education.  We report to you on our liaison activities and publish information and documents that we obtain.  And through her participation on DHS Secretary Napolitano's Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council (HSAAC), NAFSA CEO Marlene Johnson will be able to bring NAFSAns' concerns and recommendations to the attention of top DHS leadership.

I'm sure that you'd like to share your concerns and suggestions directly with DHS officials, though, and this is a great opportunity to do so.  Let them know how they're affecting your work, both what they'd doing well and how they could make improvements and reduce the barriers to international education and the burdens on international educators.  Need to jog your memory about some of the issues?  Take a look at NAFSA's DHS regulatory practice liaison and advocacy priorities, which will inform NAFSA's participation on HSAAC and may help you organize your own discussion points.  Also, let us know through IssueNet if you'd like to see other priorities added.  And remember that NAFSA staff and the ISS-RP are always interested in hearing about your regulatory problems and concerns, and we review IssueNet every week, so let us know.

We look forward to seeing you in Houston (and at the DHS pavilion)!


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