Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), led a group of 18 Senate Democrats in urging USCIS Director Francis Cissna to rescind a policy that would result in international students being removed or barred from re-entry who inadvertently violate the terms of their visa.
“We are deeply concerned that recent U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) policy changes could cause serious harm to international students in the United States, and to our colleges and universities. Specifically, on August 9, USCIS issued guidance providing that individuals on student visas would immediately begin accruing unlawful presence in the United States if they left school or worked without authorization, even if they were never notified of the violation by USCIS or an immigration judge. Under the new policy, international students will be subject to removal and barred from re-entry for up to IO years before they even know that they have violated the terms of the terms of their visa. Given that the immigration system in the United States is complex and difficult to navigate, this change cannot be justified.”
“Unnecessarily subjecting students and scholars to the unlawful presence bars is unfair and counterproductive to research and innovation that drives our economy. For that reason, we ask that you rescind these changes to the accrual of unlawful presence policy effective August 9, 2018, and return to the prior longstanding policy, which is a fair approach to enforcing our immigration laws.”
Source: AILA Doc. No. 18112939.