Travel ban behind. H-1B reform is next. Help us University Presidents

Make no mistake about it: the lives of some of our international students was not necessarily a walk in the park even before Trump’s recent travel ban.

That’s right: sometimes being an international student is not as glamours as it seems. We are just not very good at opening up and speaking up. William G. Durden gets it. He wrote an honest and important article titled “No Longer Bystandarts” addressing this topic.

Another good read comes from Iyad Uakoub from Stanford University. In the article below Iyad states that “there is an absent sense of urgency when it comes to empowering international students in higher education.”

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/international-students-united-states-what-every-know-iyad

Given how serious the direct and indirect implications of the recent travel ban are for our international students, several University Presidents have issued statements condemning Trump’s actions.

Perhaps There’s More You Can Do To Help Us University Presidents?

As international students we greatly need your support right now. You may know there are a few bills floating around that are meant to “fix” the H-1B program. The changes that are being proposed are not in the best interests of the United States in my opinion. What is being proposed will hurt the ability of U.S firms to hire foreign talent when sometimes that is the only option they have to fill a job req. You are aware of the “Hire American” mentality that seems to be strong in our country right now. If these proposed H-1B bills become laws, our international students will suffer and our U.S employers will suffer as well.

As you know, our U.S employers have to work unnecessarily hard to hire foreign talent and then come April 1st they have to pray to get lucky so they can keep their international hires on payroll. The process of hiring an international worker is already filled with barriers and uncertainty for our employers and we cannot make this process worse. Our international students have provided some much needed relief to employers in terms of supplying them with the skills they need to grow their firms, skills employers sometimes have a hard time finding in domestic candidates.

Many of you have spoken up against the recent travel ban, and we really thank you for that. More is needed right at this minute, and that’s why I am writing to you. We had no time to react to the travel ban. Regarding the H-1B situation, we do have the chance to be proactive. We do have some time to act and speak up against proposed changes in the H-1B program that are not in our country’s best interest. Can you call your senator and defend the right of U.S companies to sample from a strong pool of global candidates? We don’t have much time to act. Thank you for your attention to this urgent matter.

Marcelo Barros

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