Notice to Drexel Community: U.S. Immigration Policy Changes
A statement from Drexel University President John A. Fry
Drexel's global ties are integral to our mission, whether in educating international students here on campus, placing Drexel undergraduates in career-making co-ops with overseas companies, or creating new knowledge through research partnerships that span continents. We will do everything possible to preserve these critical relationships and to safeguard the students, faculty, and professional staff who are at the heart of what we do. These members of the Drexel community have our strongest backing. We encourage all those potentially affected to check with Drexel's International Students and Scholars Services for updated information and advice on any travel plans, as University officials will continue to monitor the situation closely.
Read President John A. Fry's full statement regarding Support for International Students, Faculty, and Staff.
Presidential proclamation suspends entry of certain Chinese F and J Visa holders with ties to entities that support People’s Republic of China (PRC) military initiatives:
On May 29th, 2020, President Trump signed a Proclamation suspending entry into the U.S. for certain F-1 and J-1 visa holders from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) effective June 1st, 2020.
WHO IS IMPACTED?
The Proclamation applies to Chinese nationals seeking to enter the U.S. as F-1 or J-1 visa holders to pursue graduate study or conduct research, if they:
- “Receives funding, is currently employed by, studies at, or conducts research at or on behalf of...an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s ‘military-civil fusion strategy',"
- “has been employed by, studied at, or conducted research at or on behalf of...an entity in the PRC that implements or supports the PRC’s “military-civil fusion strategy’”
For the purposes of this proclamation, “military-civil fusion strategy means actions by or at the behest of the PRC to acquire and divert foreign technologies, specifically critical and emerging technologies, to incorporate into and advance the PRC’s military capabilities.”
WHO IS EXEMPT?
The Proclamation does NOT affect:
- Chinese nationals seeking to enter the U.S. to pursue undergraduate studies.
- Chinese nationals pursuing studies or research in fields not deemed to advance China’s military-civil Fusion strategy.
- U.S. lawful permanent residents (“green card” holders) and the spouses of U.S. citizens and permanent residents.
For a full list of exemptions, please consult the proclamation.
WHO WILL BE DETERMINING WHETHER AN INDIVIDUAL IS SUBJECT TO THE RESTRICTIONS AND HOW?
The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State are expected to provide more details on how the proclamation will be applied and more clearly define who is subject to the restrictions.
It is not clear yet whether visa officers at U.S. embassies/consulates abroad will be charged with determining ties and restricting the issuance of visas. Higher education institutions are not expected to enforce any part of this proclamation at this time.
WHAT HAPPENS TO INDIVIDUALS ALREADY IN THE U.S.?
The Secretary of State will consider whether Chinese nationals currently present in the U.S. in F-1 or J-1 immigration status, and meeting the above listed restrictions, will be impacted by this proclamation.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
The Secretary of State and the Secretary of Homeland Security are charged to, within 60 days, “review non-immigrant and immigrant programs and shall recommend” additional measures that “would mitigate the risk posed by the PRC’s acquisition of sensitive U.S. technologies and intellectual property.”
The ISSS will continue to closely monitor the development of this situation and will communicate when additional and appropriate information is available. Updates will be made available at drexel.edu/isss.
Sources: Proclamation on the Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People’s Republic of China, Fragomen Immigration Alerts, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
Executive Order, April 22, 2020
On April 22nd, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) restricting the entry of certain categories of employment-based and family-based immigrants into the United States. The order applies to the following foreign nationals:
- Individuals who are outside of the U.S. as of April 23, 2020, and
- Do not have an immigrant visa on April 23, 2020, and
- Do not have an official travel document other than a visa. These documents include advanced parole, an appropriate boarding foil, or a transportation letter.
While immediate family members of U.S. citizens, such as spouses and minor children, and permanent residents are exempt, the EO does apply to other relatives.
The EO does NOT affect:
- Non-immigrant visa holders (e.g. F-1, J-1, H-1B, O-1). This includes F-1 students on CPT, OPT and STEM OPT, J-1 students on Academic Training, J-1 Scholars, etc. No F-1, J-1, or H-1B status benefits are impacted.
- Newly admitted and confirmed students and scholars who are currently outside the U.S. and plan to apply for non-immigrant visas (F, J, TN, etc.) once U.S. consulates resume their operations.
- Individuals with currently pending immigration benefit applications with USCIS (e.g. green cards, change of status application, etc.) or individuals currently planning to submit those types of applications, if they otherwise meet the criteria of those immigration benefits.
The EO also does NOT affect:
- Lawful U.S. permanent residents (“green card” holders).
- Certain individuals working in healthcare (e.g. physicians, nurses, etc.) and medical researchers helping to combat COVID-19, including their spouses and children under the age of 21.
- EB-5 investors, individuals whose presence in the U.S. is in the national interest of the country, individuals whose entry furthers U.S. law enforcement objectives, asylum seekers, and certain other special immigrant entrants (e.g. Iraqi and Afghani nationals who have assisted the U.S. military).
The Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor are charged to, within 30 days, review all non-immigrant programs and recommend other measures appropriate to “stimulate the United States economy to ensure the prioritization, hiring, and employment of the United States workers.” It is unclear at this time how this will unfold and what, if any, additional implications, and/or additional restrictions could be imposed after this temporary restriction ends in 60 days.
For more detailed information, please review Client Alert: President Trump Signs Executive Order Limiting Most Inbound Immigration by Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP.
ISSS will continue to closely monitor the development of this situation and will communicate when additional and appropriate information is available. Updates will be made available on the ISSS website.
DACA Announcement, February 26, 2018
On February 26, 2018, the US Supreme Court said that it will stay out of the dispute concerning the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program for now, meaning that, for the time being, participants will still be able to renew their status.
On February 26, 2018, US District Judge Philip Gutierrez in California ruled that the government cannot revoke DACA recipients' work permits or other protections without giving them notice and a chance to defend themselves. The ruling also temporarily blocks officials from revoking DACA protections from others without following a procedure "which includes, at a minimum, notice, a reasoned explanation, and an opportunity to be heard prior to termination."
To learn more, visit https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/inland-empire-immigrant-youth-collective-v-nielsen-decision.
DACA Announcement, January 12, 2018
On January 12, 2018 U.S. Customs and Immigration Services announced that it is again accepting renewal requests from DACA recipients.
For more information, visit https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/deferred-action-childhood-arrivals-response-january-2018-preliminary-injunction.
If you have any questions or need assistance renewing please do not hesitate to ask the ISSS Office.
Travel Ban Update, December, 2017
On Monday, December 4th, the United States Supreme Court voted to allow the enforcement of a travel ban that had previously been struck down. Based on the December 2017 Supreme court ruling, the prohibitions put in place in the September 24th proclamation are in effect.
Presidential Proclamation (Travel Ban) Issued September 24th, 2017
On September 24, 2017, the White House issued a Presidential Proclamation titled “Enhancing Vetting Capabilities and Processes for Detecting Attempted Entry into the United States by Terrorists or other Public-Safety Threats.”
The proclamation restricts visa issuance and entry to the United States for citizens/nationals of eight countries: Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen. (Citizens/nationals of Sudan are no longer subject to the travel restrictions placed on them by the now-expired Executive Order 13780.) The Proclamation addresses different categories of visas and statuses for each of the eight countries. There will be a gradual implementation of the proclamation, beginning on October 18, 2017.
For more information about a proclamation versus an executive order, please see below.
The new restrictions mainly address the issuance of immigrant visas, (such as green cards), and B1/B2 business tourist visas, not the F1, J1, and H-1B visas used by many Drexel University students, scholars and employees.
Chad, Libya, Venezuela, and Yemen:
- Consulates are still issuing employment-based (such as, H-1B) visas, as well as F1 and J1 visas for passport holders from Chad, Libya, and Yemen.
- Entry is suspended for new immigrants and visitors (permanent residents and B2 tourists), though nationals of these countries may apply for a waiver. are still issuing F1 and J1 visas for passport holders from Chad, Libya, Venezuela, and Yemen. Consulates are still issuing employment-based (like, H-1B) visas from Chad, Libya, Venezuela, and Yemen.
- Consulates are still issuing employment-based (such as, H-1B) visas, as well as F1 and J1 visas for passport holders from Venezuela.
- Government officials and members of their immediate family are barred from receiving business and tourist visas (B1 and B2).
- F1 and J1 visas are still being issued to students and scholars from Iran, although they may be subject to increased scrutiny (administrative processing is one potential result). All other visa categories are restricted for citizens/nationals of Iran. Employees may not be able to apply for employment based visas such as H-1B, O-1, unless they are eligible for a waiver. If you have questions regarding hiring an employee and need assistance, contact Drexel’s ISSS.
North Korea and Syria:
- Citizens/nationals of North Korea and Syria will not be issued nonimmigrant/immigrant visas in any category. Students, scholars and employees from these countries will not be able to obtain a visa to enter the United States unless they are eligible for a waiver.
Somalia and Iraq:
- Although there are no specific restrictions on nonimmigrant visa issuance for citizens/nationals of Somalia and Iraq, they will face additional security clearances in the visa application process.
- In and outside of the US, all valid visas and green cards will remain active and cannot be revoked solely because of this Proclamation.
- People who hold dual citizenship (with one of the eight countries on the list and another country not on the list, ex. Dual Iranian-Canadian citizenship) are exempted from travel restrictions so long as they enter the US using the passport pertaining to the country not on the list.
- There will be a gradual implementation of the proclamation, beginning on October 18, 2017.
- This proclamation has no set expiry date. This is an ongoing process and we are likely to see an update to this order every 180 days until further notice.
- Citizens/nationals of Sudan are no longer subject to the travel restrictions placed on them by the now-expired Executive Order 13780.
- Drexel University advises that anyone from any of the above countries who wishes to travel consult with ISSS first. Any appropriate legal counsel referrals will be made. Consults can be requested by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information you can read the Proclamation, the Fact Sheet and FAQ issued by the White House, and the announcement on the Department of State website.
DACA Announcement, September 5th, 2017
On September 5, 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) initiated the orderly phase out of the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DHS will provide a limited, six-month window during which it will consider certain requests for DACA and applications for work authorization, under specific parameters. Read the memorandum from Acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke for details. (https://www.uscis.gov/daca2017)
Current DACA recipients may continue to use their employment authorization documents (EADs) through their current expiration date, unless the EAD is otherwise terminated or revoked.
DACA renewal applications pending as of September 5, 2017 will continue to be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis. DACA recipients whose benefits will expire between September 5, 2017 and March 5, 2018 may file for a renewal no later than October 5, 2017. Any DACA or associated EAD application filed after October 5, 2017 will be rejected by USCIS. This means that anyone who has a DACA-based EAD expiring between now and March 5, 2018 must file an extension by October 5, 2017.
All properly-filed initial DACA applications filed as of September 5, 2017 will continue to be adjudicated. No applications for first-time DACA applications will be accepted going forward.
Unfortunately individuals whose DACA EADs expire on or after March 6, 2018 are not eligible for a renewal.
Any member of the Drexel Community who has questions or concerns about their status or their study here at Drexel as a result of this announcement should reach out to ISSS as email@example.com. The office will make all appropriate legal council referrals.
Previously Issued Executive Actions
- Second Executive Order Protecting The Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into The United States - issued March 6, 2017
- First Presidential Executive Order: Protecting the Nation From Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States - Executive Order 13769 – issued January 27, 2017
Summary prepared by AILA and American Immigration Council, Jan. 27, 2017.
- Presidential Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States - Executive Order 13768 – issued on January 25, 2017
Summary prepared by the National Immigration Project, Jan. 26, 2017 [PDF]
- Presidential Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements - Executive Order 13767 – issued on January 25, 2017
Summary prepared by AILA and American Immigration Council, Jan. 27, 2017.
What are executive orders, presidential memoranda, and proclamations?
"Executive orders, presidential memoranda, and proclamations are used extensively by Presidents to achieve policy goals, set uniform standards for managing the executive branch, or outline a policy view intended to influence the behavior of private citizens. The U.S. Constitution does not define these presidential instruments and does not explicitly vest the President with the authority to issue them. Nonetheless, such orders are accepted as an inherent aspect of presidential power. Moreover, if they are based on appropriate authority, they have the force and effect of law." From Congressional Research Service Report, Executive Orders: Issuance, Modification, and Revocation [PDF].
A "Know Your Rights Refresher"
As a reminder to immigrant communities, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) released a helpful guide that explains what individuals should do if they encounter law enforcement or Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials: Know Your Rights Refresher
Here you can access These easy-to-use resources were created by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
International Students and Scholars Services
International Students & Scholars Services (ISSS) staff advises international students, scholars, and faculty with advising based on their immigration status while here in the U.S. Services include orientation, preparing/filing immigration documents, advising on U.S. employment regulations and and any Presidential updates.
International Students & Scholars Services website
Student Center for Inclusion and Culture
The Student Center for Inclusion and Culture (SCIC) educates students about social justice and identity, and provides resources that foster awareness. We empower students with the knowledge, tools, and experiences to promote global citizenship. The SCIC offers spiritual support, presentations, training, and cultural programming.
Student Center for Inclusion & Culture website
Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad
The Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad provides the support and infrastructure necessary to take advantage of expansive new international opportunities both in our community and abroad. Study abroad, international programs, and international health and safety are just a few of the primary focuses of OIP.
Video of Drexel Forum on the Executive Order Banning Travel
Office of Global Engagement and Education Abroad website
Office of Equality and Diversity
Dragons who have experienced discrimination or harassment, including sexual harassment or misconduct, can come to the Office of Equality and Diversity (OED) for resources, information, and options. OED also offers educational programs to prevent and respond to bias incidents. University policy prohibits discrimination or harassment based on national origin.
Office of Equality & Diversity website
The Counseling Center offers free, confidential counseling services provided by mental health professionals to currently enrolled full-time undergraduate and graduate students in an atmosphere that is welcoming and comfortable for ALL students.
Counseling Center website
The Mission of Drexel Human Resources (often referred to as HR) is to partner with members of the Drexel community to create, cultivate and implement policies, processes and programs that support Drexel's mission and strategic plan while enhancing the overall Drexel experience. Benefits, compensation, employee relations, and learning and development comprise some of the HR departments.
Human Resources website
Spiritual and Religious Life
We encourage students to take advantage of the spectrum of resources available to support their spiritual identity development and expression of religious traditions. This mission is supported through workshops, local and student organizations, as well as campus ministers.
Spiritual and Religious Life website
Drexel will continue to provide the necessary access, resources, support services and educational opportunities that we have offered international students over the past decades regardless of the recent rhetoric in our nation's election.