Reducing America’s Ability to Compete

 

Statement by NAFSA Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy Jill Welch
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Rebecca Morgan, 202.737.3699 x4449

Washington, October 17, 2018–The Trump administration will issue a regulation that would limit how international students are admitted into the United States, according to a regulatory roadmap published today. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) intends to place a maximum period of stay on F-1 student and J-1 exchange visitor visas. The following is a statement by Jill Welch, Deputy Executive Director for Public Policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

“For decades, international students and scholars have been granted immigration status known as “duration of status,” or “D/S” that lasts for the period of time they are engaging in their studies and practical training. They are carefully screened, vetted, and monitored through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). Maintaining this policy is necessary because the time for study or research can fluctuate given the changing goals and actions of the student or scholar. We are in a global competition for talent, and we need to ensure our policies are welcoming.

“As universities and colleges across the country work to welcome highly valued, hardworking international students and scholars to our campuses and communities, their efforts are being undermined by policies and regulations that further close our doors and pull up America’s welcome mat. Students from around the globe come here to study, research and grow in our world-class institutions because they believe that America offers freedom and the highest-quality education—and our nation has thrived because of our strength in diversity, not in spite of it. International students and scholars contributed more than $36.9 billion last year and more than 450,000 jobs to our economy. If we continue to undermine their ability to study and learn here, we devalue their contributions, and our international competitors will continue to benefit from short-sighted policies.

“International students and scholars create jobs, drive research, enrich our classrooms, strengthen national security, and are America’s best ambassadors and allies. If we lose our ability to compete for them globally, we lose jobs; we lose future foreign policy connections. The world will become less safe, and, the decisions of today will have lasting negative impacts on future generations of Americans. America can and must do better.”