ATD Network Colleges Urged to Sign Letter to Congress by July 15 Deadline

Achieving the Dream has joined the American Council on Education, the American Association of Community Colleges, and 78 other higher education organizations in signing a letter imploring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to withdraw the July 6 directive that threatens deportation for international students if they are not taking in-person classes this fall. We proposed that DHS, instead, grant a one-year waiver for international students who have a valid F-1 or M-1 visa and are enrolled or entering the U.S. to begin a course of study on a full-time basis in an academic program that is conducted online or may shift to remote instruction during the semester due to the pandemic.   

To show the widespread support for rescinding the new guidelines, the American Council on Education has organized a campaign to collect the signatures of institutional leaders on a letter to Congress.  The letter asks Congress to urge Homeland Security to provide greater flexibility to institutions and their international students, or if DHS is unwilling to do so, to swiftly pass legislation that grants needed flexibility during the global pandemic.

We are encouraging Achieving the Dream colleges to sign the institution letter by July 15.

Some one million international students attend U.S. colleges and universities annually, contributing greatly to this country’s intellectual and cultural vibrancy. They also yield an estimated economic impact of $41 billion and support more than 450,000 U.S. jobs. Thirty-one percent of these students attend community colleges (National Center for Education Statistics).

Many ATD colleges face losing a valued segment of their student population if the Department’s directive stands. They must also respond to extremely short deadlines to announce to DHS their instructional plans for the new semester despite the highly volatile nature of the pandemic.

Today, Achieving the Dream sent presidents of network colleges a message including a link where they can sign the institution letter.



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