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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Guest Commentary

Immigration reform deserves praise

On June 19, I spent the day at the National Association of International Educators office in Washington, D.C., as a participant in the discussion on the impact that the new commonsense immigration process will have on our international or study abroad programs and students. This discussion was facilitated by Connecting Our World Grassroots Leadership program, which mobilizes communities in support of international education by communication with elected officials around the world.

As a member of the team of international educators selected from institutions around the country participating in the 2013-14 cohort in the GLP, the goal is to keep the conversation going in support of international education by communicating with our elected officials and advocating in our communities.

We are honored this year to be advocates of the new commonsense immigration process that will simplify the process for more than 11 million new Americans who are seeking a roadmap to citizenship.

I am excited to share that while writing this, I paused to celebrate the news that the Senate had passed the Historic Immigration Bill. The bill is sure to affect the international community of UH.

To quote from a statement posted by president and chair of the National Association of Foreign Student Advisers board of directors, Fanta Aw:

“The bill contains several provisions that are important not just for the country, but particularly for students and for higher education. The H-1B provisions in the bill permit the U.S. higher education community to bring many of the best minds from across the world to our campuses to teach our students and conduct critical research. We also support dual intent for foreign students and the restoration of the Secretary of State’s authority to waive personal appearance for visa applicants that present no security concerns.”

Texas is one of the top three states for hosting international students, with UH being home to more than 4,000 of these students.

Grace Semple-Paul, J.D., is an international student counselor and can be reached at [email protected].

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