Georgetown joined this week a number of colleges and higher education organizations – including Harvard University and the American Council on Education – to oppose a federal proposal that would limit the time international students and scholars can stay at U.S. institutions.
The new rule proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) last month would limit the length of stay for F and J visa holders to four years or less in the United States and impose a burdensome process – requiring these students and scholars to request extensions to stay longer.
The university, which submitted a formal comment to DHS in opposition to the proposed rule, sponsors about 3,200 international students and scholars on F-1 and J-1 visas from about 120 different countries.
Georgetown President John J. DeGioia says the proposed rule imposes greater burdens on international students than necessary to accomplish regulatory goals.
“Georgetown has welcomed students from across the world for more than two centuries, and our international students are integral members of our community,” DeGioia says. “The perspectives that these students and scholars bring to Georgetown enhance the educational experience of our entire community, leading to more globally-minded graduates who go on to serve in disciplines as diverse as the foreign service, medicine, law, the sciences, government and public policy.”
This past summer, the university filed an amicus brief along with 58 other colleges and universities when the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a directive that would have required students studying in the United States on F-1 visas to leave the country if they were taking fully online course loads in the fall.
DeGioia called the July 6 directive “reckless.” Days later he commended the agency’s decision to end the effort.
“We believe that these new regulations will impose significant costs upon students, scholars, the colleges and universities that support them, and the U.S. economy,” DeGioia says. “This proposed rule should be re-evaluated to enable us to sustain and advance the global character of our university and nation.”