Presidents and chancellors from nearly 30 colleges and universities throughout Illinois are calling on Congress to address the increasing number of visa delays and denials that are leaving many of their international students in limbo, reported The Chicago Tribune.
Both private and public university leaders signed a letter to state’s congressional delegation regarding “concern about changes in immigration policy and procedures that undermine the ability of our institutions — and the state of Illinois — to continue benefiting from the important skills and contributions of international students and scholars.”
It specifically asks lawmakers to expand “dual intent” to student visas, which would allow students the opportunity to consider permanent U.S. residency. According to the letter, with the dual intent, students would be less likely to face visa denial due to a failure to prove an intention to return to their home countries.
Leaders of the University of Illinois, DePaul University, Loyola University, Northwestern University and Western, Eastern and Southern Illinois universities were among those who signed the letter. According to the 2019 Open Doors Report on International Education Exchange, more than 53,000 international students went to colleges and universities in Illinois last year.