University Statement

Yale, other schools file amicus brief on ‘unlawful presence’ visa change

A new DHS policy would deter international students from seeking study in America, harming higher education and ultimately the U.S. economy, argues the brief.

Yale University has joined with more than 60 other institutions of higher education in filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief in a case before the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina about the Department of Homeland Security’s new policy regarding the calculation of “unlawful presence” for international students.

Under the new policy, which went into effect Aug. 9, the government will backdate “unlawful presence” for F, J, and M visa holders, starting the clock on the date of the underlying factual development that renders an individual out-of-status. In many, if not most, cases, 180 days — and more often 365 days — will have elapsed by the time the government makes this finding, leading to onerous penalties. A 3- or 10-year reentry bar will attach automatically, and the affected individual will have no opportunity to cure the defect nor file an appeal.

The amicus brief notes that international students bring both diversity and needed talents to U.S. institutions of higher education, and that changing the “unlawful presence” policy will deter them from seeking to study in the United States, ultimately harming the U.S. economy.

Read the full brief (PDF).

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