As the federal government aims to limit time international students are allowed to stay in the U.S., Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 21 other attorneys general in opposing itlast week.
The coalition opposes a proposed rule that would set fixed time limits of two or four year on student visas. The attorneys general argue in their letter that these limits would harm international students, limit learning opportunities for domestic students, damage state economies and violate federal law.
In 2018, 53.2% of international students were enrolled in programs of four years or more, according to the statement. The attorneys general argue the limits would leave international students with no assurance they could finish these programs, and therefore, fewer would apply.
Since 1979, the U.S. has used a duration of status framework for international student visas, which would allow them to remain as they make their way towards a degree.
In 2020, the Department of Homeland Security proposed to end the duration of status rule to instead have initial visas valid for up to four years.
"Many students would be limited to two-year initial visa terms, including because they are from countries designated as 'state sponsors of terrorism,'" the statement said.
After the visa term ended, international students would have to reapply, leaving them uncertain of their approval, according to the statement.
"For decades we have allowed international students to remain in the U.S. until their studies are completed, and this proposed rule shows a blatant disregard for the positive impacts these students have on our economy and our cultural diversity," Nessel said in the statement.
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