To borrow a line from the president: We can’t wait any longer. It is time for President Obama to lead a national conversation on immigration reform.

NAFSA members understand how our antiquated immigration laws impede the movement of people seeking educational opportunities, and perhaps even worse, how the xenophobic tenor of our national debate on undocumented immigrants and the nation’s harsh and ineffective approach to border enforcement chip away at American values and negatively affects the image we project to the world.

NAFSA released a statement today that focuses on this broader context of immigration and offers specific steps for President Obama to take in order to lead the nation toward a more measured dialogue and toward fair, humane, and durable immigration solutions.

I recognize that this statement goes considerably beyond our usual focus on immigration as it affects our core issues of international education and exchange. But the country can’t keep going this way. Someone needs to say something, so we’re saying it. I hope other organizations will join us in raising their voices to a new level.

You can download the statement as a pdf or read and share an online version of the statement at

We look forward to your comments and hope you will join us in this important national conversation.