U.S. House Democrats and Republicans Weigh in on Homeland Security Visa Restrictions

Both parties in Congress express concern about the Department's new proposed fixed term period of admission and extension of stay rules for international students and scholars.

October 27, 2020

In continuing efforts to the express public opposition the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s proposal to replace the current Duration of Status policy for international students and scholars with a fixed two-to-four-year term and an uncertain extension of stay process, the University today learned that letters raising concerns with these new rules have been submitted by House Republicans and Democrats. 

On October 23, twenty Republican members of Congress, including Representatives from New York State, signed a letter that said:

"While well-intended, the proposed rule would negatively impact our global competitiveness at an incredibly vulnerable time for our nation’s economy."

Three days later, fifty Democrats–led by New York's Jerrold Nadler, who is the Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary–said: 

"Although we share with the Administration a mutual objective of protecting against abuses in our temporary visa programs, we are deeply troubled by the changes proposed in this rulemaking, which will introduce needless administrative paperwork into an already overburdened system without meaningfully improving program integrity."

As Columbia University's Interim Provost Ira Katznelson has written, "the Department’s proposed rule would hinder our ability to recruit and retain the most talented students from around the world. This would harm not only our institution but diminish the strength of all U.S. universities, whose intellectual and research leadership depend on a broad and diverse talent base. We urge that the proposed rule be withdrawn in its entirety."