“We are encouraged that the Trump administration is seeking to address the nation’s merit-based immigration system, and support the goal of allowing more of the talented international students, scholars, and other highly skilled individuals coming to our shores to stay, contribute to the U.S. economy, and ultimately become citizens. However, we are concerned that while the plan apparently maintains the current overall number of legal immigrants able to enter the United States, it may reduce the availability of family and humanitarian visas. We look forward to learning more details as this initiative is fleshed out in the coming weeks.
We are particularly disappointed that the administration’s plan does not include protections for Dreamers, a top priority for ACE and all of American higher education, which has widespread and bipartisan support in our nation and on Capitol Hill. For far too long, hundreds of thousands of high-achieving young people, many of whom are attending or have graduated from our colleges and universities, have lived under a cloud of fear and uncertainty. Any immigration plan that moves in the direction of merit-based immigration should not overlook the tens of thousands of Dreamers who are exemplary, productive, and hard-working individuals. We continue to urge Congress to approve legislation that permits Dreamers to gain permanent lawful residence and a pathway to citizenship in the only country they have ever called home.
We stand ready to work with the administration and Congress on an immigration initiative that addresses these important issues in a comprehensive fashion.”