In coordination with UAW academic locals across the country, UAW 4121 International Solidarity Workgroup members recently organizing an information session with Stacey Gartland, an immigration and nationality lawyer, on proposed changes to F and J visas. If you are interested in watching the session you can view it on Facebook.  

A main takeaway is that public comments really have an effect, because each comment needs to be responded to in some way. It is especially helpful when the comments are different, not based on a template, and refer to a specific point of the proposal. If the proposal cannot be passed through discussion by December 20th it will likely fail and if it cannot be finalized by January 20th it could be overturned, pending election results.

The International Solidarity Working Group has put together the below template for public comments — please take a few minutes today to submit one at this link! Note that DHS must respond to the comments that they receive and thus it is very helpful to submit comments. If possible, please edit the template to personalize your comments. 

TEMPLATE (please personalize): 

I am writing to voice my opposition to this proposed rule.

The proposal would do damage to our ability to conduct high-level research and support instruction for hundreds of thousands of students around the country.  By shortening periods of permission to remain in the United States and forcing international students and scholars to renew their status more often, the rule would discourage international students and others from coming to the United States.  At a time when we need to increase our recruiting efforts around the world, to incentivize people to participate in our shared global fight against COVID-19; continue our work to prevent climate change; innovate in medicine and public health; provide analysis and insight of institutionalized racism and its effects, and in many other ways improve our quality of life and grow the economy, this rule is a step in the wrong direction.

Please take whatever steps are necessary to preserve the current duration of status rules and continue to provide a welcoming and supportive system for international students and scholars to study and work in the U.S.