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Harvard Joins Over 60 Schools Supporting College’s Lawsuit Against New DHS Policy

Harvard Joins Over 60 Schools Supporting College’s Lawsuit Against New DHS Policy

“The DHS’s new backdating rule will likely result in fewer international students, scholars, and instructors”

A new policy from Kirstjen Nielsen and the DHS may affect how long international students can stay in the country and a lot of people in higher ed are freaking out about it.

Campus Reform reports:

Harvard decries ‘destructive’ new Trump admin policy

Harvard University signed a statement in late December denouncing U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen for a policy limiting the stay of international students in the country.

The Ivy League school is the 65th school to sign an amicus brief supporting Guilford College in a lawsuit filed against Nielsen, according to The Harvard Crimson. Most of the schools belong to the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.

“The Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) Policy Memorandum regarding the calculation of unlawful presence will have destructive and harmful consequences for international students and scholars, and the U.S. institutions with which they are associated, the brief states.

U.S. immigration policies trigger an “unlawful presence” period for people who stay in the nation past their period of authorization. These individuals can be forced to go back to the country from which they came after six months of unlawful presence and receive a three-year ban from the country.

Before August, the unlawful presence period only began after the government released a memo deeming the visa holder “out of status.” But the August policy change allows the Department of Homeland Security to set start dates for unlawful presence retroactively before releasing the determination and beginning the day following the individual’s completion of a degree or visa expiration.

“Under the prior policy, when international students did become aware of a potential issue, they were able to make corrections and request reviews and adjustments, without fearing the accrual of unlawful presence,” the brief states. “The DHS’s new backdating rule will likely result in fewer international students, scholars, and instructors contributing to our communities.”


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So, Harvard, et al., is concerned that international “students, scholars, and instructors” who overstay their visas will have “destructive and harmful consequences” for the universities if the terms of the entrance visas are enforced. If the foreigners can’t figure out how to work a calendar or understand the terms of their entrance visas within six months of expiry, removing them from the universities would seem to be a benefit, and not at all harmful. Perhaps DHS can appropriate five billion or so of Harvard’s endowment in compensation for this benefit to pay for the wall at our southern border.

    irishmanjdesq in reply to ray. | January 4, 2019 at 12:13 pm

    Your ignorance of immigration law could not be more pronounced and it would be best if you keep your comments to yourself if you have no real understanding of it. Foreign students have a particular type of visa that when they enter the country their status is given “D/S” on their I-94 document, which governs their stay in the U.S. “D/S” stands for “duration of status”, which is not a fixed date that requires them to leave at a certain time.

    Your comment fails to understand the meaning behind this or show any understanding of why this is placed on the document that controls the period of time these students stay in the U.S.

I have a very simple argument on this one. If these people are supposedly so bright and essential, then why would they ever let their visa expire?

It would seem to me if they are intelligent enough to qualify to for such positions then they should be smart enough to keep their visa updated and not doing so would indicate, imho, that they are not apparently qualified.

    irishmanjdesq in reply to Gremlin1974. | January 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    Your comment is as ignorant as Ray’s comment. If you have no education in immigration law, it is best to keep your mouth shut instead of sounding so stupid by making ASSumptions without any backing of the law behind it.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to irishmanjdesq. | January 5, 2019 at 5:36 pm

      You mad bro?

      Typical leftist, no argument just name calling and finger wagging.

      If they managed to come here on a student visa then they should be able to maintain that visa, if they can’t well then they don’t need to be here, period. If they stay after their visa is expired they should be treated like every other illegal alien and deported.

Lawfare in this country has become ridiculous but that is beside my next point.

The two commenters above me think that visa updating is simply a rubber stamp job. I assure you it is not. I’ve worked with several good immigrant workers diligently doing academic research night and day. This is not anywhere near as simple as say obtaining or renewing a US passport. Most schools have lawyers on retainer for this because of its complexity (and sadly they tend to have lousy lawyers that can’t make it elsewhere). Not all schools even have that, though.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to healthguyfsu. | January 5, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    If they managed to get the visa in the first place they should be able to maintain it, period. Now I am all about streamlining that process to make it more user friendly. But I have no sympathy for someone who came here on a visa that they know will expire and then doesn’t maintain it.

Don’t kid yourself. The real issue is money. Foreign students are charged huge amounts for tuition and removing them would constitute a revenue loss that universities do not want to lose. You think they really care about those students because of some other reason? Nah.

    irishmanjdesq in reply to Cleetus. | January 4, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    If you think a university like Harvard or Columbia really rely on the tuition of the foreign students to stay in business, then I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Many of the universities that are part of that lawsuit have endowments in the billions of dollars. Losing foreign students is less about the money and more about the loss of their contributions they provide to society, including the many developments in cancer research necessary to keep you or anyone you know who has dealt with it alive.

    Unless you have something more substantive to provide then this baseless assertion, I’d suggest you leave your xenophobic opinions to media sites like Breitbart where you’ll get a standing ovation for such comments.

      healthguyfsu in reply to irishmanjdesq. | January 4, 2019 at 5:24 pm

      Reliance and greed are separate issues.

      His point is overstated for sure, but consider this. Harvard and Columbia don’t rely on being tax-free on their endowments, but they sure squealed like pigs now that they are in the crosshairs.

The short version is that every university is focused on money, whether they have additional altruistic motives or not.