Immigration and International Students

The Issue

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ACE advocates for comprehensive immigration reform that would support undocumented students who were brought to the United States as young children, as well as talented international students who would like to remain in this country following the completion of their studies here—particularly those with science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) degrees. The federal Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act, which ACE has supported since it was first introduced in 2001, would provide such students an expedited path to citizenship if they accomplish academic goals or serve in our military. ACE also supports reforms of the non-immigrant visa process, particularly the H-1B visa, which would enhance our nation’s recruitment and retention of highly skilled international students and employees.

Our Work
Request to Congress to Protect International Student Visas Under the National Defense Authorization Act
Request to Congress to Protect International Student Visas Under the National Defense Authorization Act
Letter to the House and Senate Armed Services and Judiciary committees in support of Sec. 1763 of the FY 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which would allow international students to study online until the end of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Associations, Lawmakers Call on Administration to Clarify Policy on Allowing International Students Into the Country
Associations, Lawmakers Call on Administration to Clarify Policy on Allowing International Students Into the Country
ACE and three other major higher education associations sent a letter to the Bureau of Consular Affairs and U.S. Customs and Border Protection asking for clarification that international students can safely travel to begin school this fall.
Letter to Homeland Security and Consular Affairs on Visa Guidance
Letter to Homeland Security and Consular Affairs on Visa Guidance
Letter to Homeland Security and the Bureau of Consular Affairs asking for assurance that international students can safely travel to begin the academic term this fall.
Trump Administration Will Reject New DACA Applications While Deciding Future of the Program
Trump Administration Will Reject New DACA Applications While Deciding Future of the Program
The Trump administration announced that it will reject new applications for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, despite a federal judge’s order that said new applicants must be considered.
Letter to DHS on ICE Directive for International Students
Letter to DHS on ICE Directive for International Students
Letter from ACE and other higher education associations to the Department of Homeland Security asking for clarification on the the withdrawn Immigration and Customs Enforcement directive and the status of international students.
Trump Administration Withdraws Directive Banning International Students
Trump Administration Withdraws Directive Banning International Students
The Trump administration has rescinded its directive that said international students could not legally stay in the United States if they were taking all their classes online.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Rescission of ICE Directive
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Rescission of ICE Directive
The Trump administration has rescinded its rule on international students studying online. Read ACE President Ted Mitchell's statement on this development, which is the best possible outcome for colleges and students.
Amicus Brief: President and Fellows of Harvard College and MIT v. Department of Homeland Security, ICE, et al
Amicus Brief: President and Fellows of Harvard College and MIT v. Department of Homeland Security, ICE, et al
Amicus brief from ACE and 70 other higher education associations supporting the first of several legal challenges to the Trump administration’s new directive that prohibits international students from remaining in the U.S. if their colleges hold course...
Request to DHS to Withdraw ICE Guidance on International Students
Request to DHS to Withdraw ICE Guidance on International Students
Letter from ACE and 80 other associations to Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, asking him to withdraw the recent guidance issued by Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding international students and the upcoming 2020-21 academic year.
New ICE Guidance Bans International Students From Online-Only Instruction
New ICE Guidance Bans International Students From Online-Only Instruction
ICE has issued new guidance that would prohibit international students from returning to or remaining in the United States if their colleges adopt an online-only instruction model for the fall, a move ACE President Ted Mitchell called "horrifying."
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on ICE Guidance on International Students
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on ICE Guidance on International Students
The new guidance from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement raises more questions than it answers and unfortunately appears to do more harm than good.
Letter to the State Department and DHS on Guidance for International Students
Letter to the State Department and DHS on Guidance for International Students
Letter to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security requesting guidance on international students for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Trump Administration Suspends Issuing New H-1B, Other Visas Until Next Year
Trump Administration Suspends Issuing New H-1B, Other Visas Until Next Year
President Trump has signed an executive order to suspend new H-1B, L-1, and other non-immigrant work visas for through the end of the year, along with an extension of the freeze on green cards for new immigrants.
Remember the Dreamers: Groups Launch New Website to Support Dreamers, DACA Recipients
Remember the Dreamers: Groups Launch New Website to Support Dreamers, DACA Recipients
ACE and a coalition of partners have launched a new website to support Dreamers and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients as they await the Supreme Court’s decision on whether President Trump illegally ended DACA in 2017.
ACE, Other Groups Highlight Importance of International Students as Agencies Respond to Trump’s Immigration Order
ACE, Other Groups Highlight Importance of International Students as Agencies Respond to Trump’s Immigration Order
ACE and 62 other associations have offered to assist the departments of Labor, Homeland Security, and State in the review of non-immigrant programs mandated by President Trump's recent executive order on immigration.
Letter on President Trump's Immigration Executive Order
Letter on President Trump's Immigration Executive Order
Letter to the secretaries of State, Homeland Security, and Labor about President Trump's recent executive order on immigration, specifically on the section that calls for an examination of and recommendations regarding non-immigrant programs.
Request to State Department for Guidance for International Students During the Pandemic
Request to State Department for Guidance for International Students During the Pandemic
Letter to Secretary Mike Pompeo seeking further guidance from the Department of State guidance for international students and scholars during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Letter Requesting Additional Guidance on Coronavirus for International Students
Letter Requesting Additional Guidance on Coronavirus for International Students
Letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf requesting additional guidance for international students and scholars on U.S. campuses in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
CDC Issues Coronavirus Guidance for Foreign Programs and Domestic Campuses
CDC Issues Coronavirus Guidance for Foreign Programs and Domestic Campuses
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control has recommended that colleges and universities “consider" postponing or canceling foreign exchange programs and asking students on study abroad programs to return to the United States.
Proposed Visa Fee Increases Would Discourage International Students and Scholars From Coming to the United States
Proposed Visa Fee Increases Would Discourage International Students and Scholars From Coming to the United States
In recent comments to USCIS, ACE and seven other higher education associations warned warned that the Trump administration’s proposed increases in immigration fees would “reinforce a troubling message” to international students and scholars.
Comments to USCIS on Proposed Increases to Visa Fees
Comments to USCIS on Proposed Increases to Visa Fees
From ACE and seven other higher education associations to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding the proposed increase to certain immigration and naturalization benefit request fees.
Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Legality of Trump Administration’s Move to End DACA
Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Legality of Trump Administration’s Move to End DACA
The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Nov. 12 on whether President Trump’s decision to rescind the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy was done legally.
ACE, 43 Other Associations Submit Amicus Brief Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold the Legality of DACA
ACE, 43 Other Associations Submit Amicus Brief Urging U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold the Legality of DACA
Background on an amicus brief ACE and 43 higher education associations submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on DACA Case
Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on DACA Case
ACE and 43 other higher education associations submitted this amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to affirm lower court decisions keeping in place the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy the Trump administration rescinded in 2017.
Hundreds of Colleges and Universities Sign Letter Urging Congressional Action to Protect Dreamers
Hundreds of Colleges and Universities Sign Letter Urging Congressional Action to Protect Dreamers
More than 600 colleges and universities have signed a letter urging Congress act now to pass long overdue bipartisan legislation providing permanent protection for Dreamers.
House Democrats Renew Effort to Protect Dreamers, DACA Recipients
House Democrats Renew Effort to Protect Dreamers, DACA Recipients
House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled the latest version of the Dream Act, an effort to provide permanent legal protections and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to this country illegally as children.
Trump Administration Releases Final Public Charge Rule
Trump Administration Releases Final Public Charge Rule
​The Trump administration has finalized its plan to overhaul how the government evaluates whether an individual from another country, either already in the United States or seeking to come here, is “not likely to be a public charge.”
Letter to House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship on Visa Delays
Letter to House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship on Visa Delays
Letter from ACE President Ted Mitchell to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship in advance of the July 16 hearing on USCIS visa delays.
Supreme Court to Review DACA Policy Protecting Young Undocumented Immigrants
Supreme Court to Review DACA Policy Protecting Young Undocumented Immigrants
The Supreme Court will review the Trump administration's decision to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy in its October term.
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Supreme Court Decision to Take Up DACA
Statement by ACE President Ted Mitchell on Supreme Court Decision to Take Up DACA
The Supreme Court will hear three DACA cases this fall. However, there remains an urgent need for Congress to pass a long-term legislative solution for Dreamers.
Letter Urging Senate to Pass Dream Act
Letter Urging Senate to Pass Dream Act
Letter to Senate leadership requesting they make legislation to permanently protect Dreamers a priority.
House Approves Dream Act, Sending Bill to Senate
House Approves Dream Act, Sending Bill to Senate
The measure would give young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children a pathway to citizenship.
Letter to House on American Dream and Promise Act
Letter to House on American Dream and Promise Act
Letter to House leadership in support of the American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 (H.R. 6).
House Democrats Renew Effort to Protect Dreamers, DACA Recipients
House Democrats Renew Effort to Protect Dreamers, DACA Recipients
House Democrats on Tuesday unveiled the latest version of the Dream Act, an effort to provide permanent legal protections and a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to this country illegally as children.

ACE, Higher Education Groups File Brief in Support of Challenge to ICE Directive on International Students 

ACE and 70 other higher education associations filed a brief July 13 supporting the first of several legal challenges to the Trump administration’s new directive which, among other things, prohibits international students from remaining in the United States if their colleges hold courses online-only this fall as the country continues dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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